“Core”/ pronounced kor, is a noun meaning central or most important part of something.We often hear the word “core” work or “core” strengthening, but do we really know what our “core” is, and why it’s so imperative to our overall body health? Here’s why. It is important to achieve core stability and strength to protect the spine and surrounding musculature from injury.Have you been working on your abdominals but you still suffer from back pain? It’s possible there is a delay or absence of muscle firing from pain, injury, surgery or pregnancy.It’s either a motor firing problem or a true weakness or both.
What are your core muscles?
Your core are all the muscles located in your torso or trunk, and we will divide them into two parts: Inner= stabilizers and Outer= mobilizers or movers.
Our stabilizing muscles are Transversus Abdominus, Multifidus, Diaphram and Pelvic floor muscles and they are attached directly to the spine to support/stabilize it’s movement. With back or pelvic pain, the stabilizers are often the culprit. Your stabilizing muscles work together to stabilize your lower back and pelvis before any movement from your arms or legs occurs, and because of where these muscles are located, they can’t be strengthened in the conventional way.
The outer mobilizers/movers are what we see. Rectus Abdominus, Obliques and Serratus Anterior support the stabilizers and work with them to move your body.
Some common myths about core strength?
- Crunches are good core exercises= False: Crunches engage and target movers (Rectus Abdominus) and don’t require any of your deep stabilizers to fire/work. Crunches done incorrectly can cause injury to your spine
- You need to perform gym exercises to strengthen your core= False: Any exercise can be a core exercise if you target the right muscles in a co-ordinated movement. Many functional activities can also be used as core exercises.
- If you are in great cardiovascular shape,you will have a strong core= False: Cardiovascular status is independent of core core strength, but core strength can enhance your cardiovascular activity.
The truth about core strengthening
- A strong core is vital for balance, good posture and back health
- A strong core enhances physical activity and athletic performance
- Greater core stability will significantly reduce your risk of injury, and help you banish back pain for good.
The plank is one of the best exercises you can safely do for your core because it builds isometric strength to help sculpt your waistline and improve your posture. Depending on the type of plank you try, you can also engage your back, arms, shoulders, glutes, and hamstrings. Win!
Try these variations for some fun variety.You can safely perform these on a daily basis! http://greatist.com/fitness/perfect-plank