8 Reasons why you should strengthen your core muscles
(Article written by Melissa-Anne Smit for M2 Magazine)
While it may be good motivation, rocking a beach-worthy bod isn’t the only reason to get your torso in shape. After all, your core is about more than just your ab muscles—it’s your body’s powerhouse. No matter what the motion is, it either starts in or moves through your core. Thus, weak or inflexible core muscles can impair how well your arms and legs function. It helps you do just about everything.
And if getting washboard abs are your holy grail you first need to shed the body fat through full body, high intensity exercise and good healthy nutrition along with frequent (but not daily) core exercise sessions. Building a strong core is important but it’s unwise to focus your efforts only on developing rippling abs. This will lead to overtraining of the ab muscles and by snubbing the muscles of the back and hip will set you up for injuries.
Just because you’re strong, doesn’t mean you have a strong core. It’s really something everyone can work on – and here is 8 Reasons why we need a strong core:
- 1. Computer Work:
- Sitting at a computer may seem easy, but it can put serious strain on your body. Developing a solid core can help take stress off of your lower back and other body parts.
- 2. Improve your balance and stability:
- Core exercises train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work in harmony. This leads to better balance and stability, whether on the playing field or in daily activities. In fact, most sports and other physical activities depend on stable core muscles.
- 3. Sex:
- Sex is an extremely physical activity and if you have a strong core, you will be able to increase your stamina and perform better for longer periods of time. By alternating your core work with different exercises a couple of times a week, everyday tasks will also become much easier and much more enjoyable than ever before.
- 4. Running or Walking:
- Competitive runners know that developing a strong core is a vital part of finishing a race with a good time. Your core will help you take in more oxygen during every breath as well as help you keep balance while running on uneven terrain.
- 5. Prevent Injuries:
- Your overall fitness will improve, making you less prone to injury down the road. Even though it’s easy to presume that when we’re moving, our extremities do most of the work, the opposite it true: most movement starts at the centre and moves outward. A rock-solid centre will help ensure that your movements are strong and pain-free.
- 6. Banish back pain:
- Back pain is a common side effect of a weak core. When our abdominals are weak, it’s often because our back muscles can’t do all the work by itself. Back and Core needs to balance out. The one without the other can’t create a strong core for your body.
- 7. Protects your organs and central nervous system:
- Your core is not only where your organs and central nervous system do their busy-work, it’s also where your body’s largest (and most important) veins and arteries are based. Keeping strong core muscles will help ensure everything stays protected as you move through your day.
- 8. Delays Aging:
- A strong core keeps your body aligned, so that you can function properly.
- Strong core muscles make it easier to do everything from swinging a golf club to getting a glass from the top shelf or bending down to tie your shoes. Weak core muscles leave you susceptible to poor posture, lower back pain and muscle injuries.
So recapping, think of your core muscles as the central nexus in a chain connecting your upper and lower body. Whether you’re hitting a tennis ball, out-stepping that pesky half-back, carrying the groceries, or just playing with the kids, the necessary motions either originate in your core, or moves through it.
And besides, not only will a strong, healthy core turn heads on the beach, you’ll feel great, too. So the trick is, once you’ve developed your core stability, you can start working on the more superficial core muscles to will build the strength you’ll be able to see. Exercises like the “plank,” “bridge” and other abdominal moves are great ways to get started.
Remember building muscle happens when you are resting, not during your reps. Your workouts are putting strain on the muscles, they need time to heal and recover otherwise your body doesn’t get time it needs to building the muscles you want.
Article written by Melissa-Anne Smit from 101 Fitness – High Intensity personal training in a private room.
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