♥ Daily Dose | Why You Need a Strong Core

If you were to ask how you could quickly reverse the aging process, I would advise you to develop your “core”. Your core spans muscles, bones, and joints in your abdomen, back, buttocks, sides, and hips/pelvis. Weak, tight or unbalanced core muscles can affect your ability to move, function independently and enjoy physical activities.

The major core muscles to strengthen are your:

  1. Abdominals – Stabilize your core, twist your trunk, and allow you to bend forward at the waist and to each side.
  2. Back - Stabilize your core and allow you to straighten up, bend backward, forward, and to each side.
  3. Hip Adductors - Pull your thigh towards the midline of your body.
  4. Hip Flexors – Stabilize/rotate your pelvis, stabilize your body when you stand, and allow you to bend at the waist and hike up each leg.
  5. Gluteals or “glutes” - Extend/rotate your hip, rotate/abduct your thigh. (Abductors push your thigh away from the midline of your body.)

Why You Need a Strong, Stable Core:

  • Heart Running on TreadmillMakes it possible to stand upright and move on two feet which enhances your balance and stability.
  • Is essential to sit and move (e.g., walk, jump, dance, and run).
  • Helps prevent falls.
  • Distributes the stresses of weight bearing which protects your back and reduces back pain.
  • Improves athletic performance. (Powerful, rapid muscle contractions start from the center of your body out.)
  • Improves posture.
  • Enhances arm and leg function which helps build powerful arms and legs.  

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

Basic everyday tasks call on your core to do the following, such as:

  • Bend to put on your shoes
  • Pick up an item off the floor
  • Turn to look behind you
  • Walk up/down stairs
  • Mow the lawn or work in the garden
  • Sit in a chair and get up from a chair
  • Stand still
  • Reach overhead
  • Vacuum, mop or dust
  • Bathe or shower

Strengthening Your Core

Core exercises don’t require special equipment or access to a gym. Some classic core exercises include:

  1. Plank
  2. Squat
  3. Lunge
  4. Push-ups
  5. Pull-ups
  6. Standing overhead press

Apple c heart symbol_40x54Fit Tip: Think of your core muscles as the sturdy link between your upper and lower body. But remember it’s not all about strengthening your abs or you’ll end up with a weak back. A healthy body is a ‘balanced’ body. If you work on abs, you need to strengthen opposing muscles or you set yourself up for injury. A sound core program works ALL core muscles.

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