• Melissa Connolly

5 Reasons To Strengthen Our Core

photo credit pilatesanytime.com

Many of us think about core strengthening and we picture a flat belly and 6 pack abs. And while those can be motivating to you, there are so many more functional benefits that come from improving your core strength.

Where exactly is your core? Your core consists of the muscles that you often picture, the obliques and the rectus (6 pack) muscles. It is also your deepest layer of abdominal muscles that support the internal organs, the pelvic floor muscles, and the muscles that run along your spine in your back.

Think of your core as a muscular corset that stabilizes your body. And besides helping you look more toned and trim, working toward gaining more core strength will help you create ease in all daily activities and is beneficial in these 5 ways.

#1 A strong core helps reduce or prevent back pain.

Back pain can often be the result of weak core muscles which lead to compensating and creating muscular imbalance (and pain). If your core is strong, holding your whole body in the right position is easier and the risk of straining muscles decreases.

#2 Core exercises increase your balance and stability.

Especially as we age, balance becomes increasingly important. Core exercises train your abdominals, back muscles, pelvic and hip muscles to work together and support your entire body. A strong core leads to better balance and stability of your entire body and lessens the risk of injury and falling.

#3 Strong core muscles make daily activities easier.

A strong core make activities like bending down to tie your shoes, picking up something off of a high shelf, moving furniture and climbing stairs easier. If your core is strong you find more ease about your day to day life.

#4 Better Posture

Pull the shoulders back, lift the head up, lengthen the spine and pull the belly in. Part of the problem with slumped posture is weak core muscles. Strengthening the core can help with the position of the spine and lift you more upright. You’ll stand taller and look and feel more confident!

#5 Strong core muscles improve sports performance

When you need to generate power the core muscles must first engage. While working your lower or upper body, the core activates first. Even if your upper or lower body strength is good, you won’t be as powerful with a weak core. Strong core muscles can make you faster, stronger and improve your performance no matter what your sport is!

And BONUS #6 A Strong core is the key to flat abs

If you are working to achieve flat and toned abs you must strengthening all core muscles in a balanced way. Strengthen your abdominals, your back, hips and pelvis. Add in back extensions and planks to achieve a well balanced and toned mid section that not only looks great but is super functional too!

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