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Core Strength – How to Strengthen Your Core

core strength

Core Strength! Our core is the central part of your body, responsible for balance, stability and posture. Hence, it is pivotal to regularly strengthen your core muscles!

What is Your Core?

Your core is made up of multiple components. These include:

  • Erector spinae – Group of muscles that stem from the hips to the upper back. The erector spinae straighten and rotate the back, working together with the glutes to maintain spinal stability and proper posture

  • Multifidus – Set of thick muscles that keep the spine stable while you move

  • Obliques – Your external oblique muscles are located midway down your ribcage, and stretch to your hips on both sides of your body. The internal oblique muscles are located just beneath your outer obliques. These muscles help with bodily mobility (i.e. allowing you to twist your body), as well as overall stability

  • Rectus Abdominis – This is also known as your abs! The muscle stems from midway down your ribs to your pelvic bone. Exercises such as sit-ups and crunches help to build muscle in your rectus abdominis

  • Transverse Abdominis – Your transverse abdominis is a sheet-like muscle that spans across the front of your body. It is designed to protect internal organs, as well as stabilises the spine and pelvis to improve mobility.

Why is Core Strength Important?

Your core muscles play an important role in keeping your spine straight and stable whilst completing everyday activities. Not only is core stability imperative for proper posture and spinal alignment, but it also helps to prevent injuries stemming from the overuse of muscles, A strong core can make movements smoother, more efficient, and comfortable, reducing the likelihood of injury. Core weakness can cause you to place added strain on other muscles in your body to complete everyday movements and activities. This can cause pain in areas such as your back, neck, and joints. Although your core muscles naturally weaken with age, there are many exercises you can do to try and fortify and improve your core muscle strength.

Exercises to Build Core Strength

  • Standard Plank – Lie on your front, and prop yourself up on your elbows. Lift your hips and legs up into a plank position, keeping your elbows directly under your shoulders. Ensure you engage your core, keep your back straight, and maintain a slight chin tuck.

  • Crunch – Lie on your back and bend your knees. Engage your core muscles and pull your head and shoulders off the floor towards your abdomen, with you arms crossed over your chest. Hold the position for 10 seconds. Return to your starting position and repeat.

  • Pelvic Tilt – Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet resting flat on the floor. Bend your pelvis up and tighten your abdominal muscles. Hold up for 10 seconds. Release by returning you back flat to the floor. Repeat.

  • Bridge – Lie on your back and bend your knees. Keep your back flat on the ground and lift your hips up. Hold for 10 seconds, and return back to your starting position. Repeat.

  • Bird Dog – Begin on all fours. Ensure your arms are directly under your shoulders. Straighten you right arm, and your left leg, until they are parallel to the floor. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat the same position with you left arm and right leg extended out, and hold again. Make sure to engage your abdominal muscles throughout the exercise.

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