Benefits of a Strong Core
What makes up the core muscles?
You may already know the basic core muscles like the rectus abdominis (six-pack abs), internal and external obliques (on the sides), and the erector spineae, latissimus dorsi, and trapezius on the back. But there are several more muscles involved than just those. There are also the deeper muscles of the spine, rib cage, pelvis, and hips. All of the muscles in these regions work together to produce almost every move you make, from walking and sitting to throwing a ball and gardening.
What are the benefits of having a strong core?
Balance and Stability
- Having a strong core will help you to have better balance and stability. When you’re more balanced and stable, you are less likely to fall and injury yourself. Try using a stability ball when sitting at your desk to gain better balance.
More Ease with Everyday Tasks and Activities
- You may not realize how much work your core does. Simple tasks like picking up a package, sitting, twisting, and reaching can be challenging with a weak core. When your core is strong, you can accomplish these and many more tasks with ease and less pain.
Better Posture and Less Back Pain
- Having a strong core means you will be more likely to sit and stand straighter. The spine should have a slight curve at the top and bottom like the last figure in the Spinal Curvature image. Sitting all day can lead to an anterior pelvic tilt (first figure), meaning that your hips tilt towards the front, creating a deeper curve to your lower back. And slouching can cause the shoulders to round, weakening your chest muscles (second figure).
How can I strengthen my core?
The great thing about the core is that that you don’t need any special equipment to strengthen it! Although, you can definitely add free weights or machines to increase the intensity and get more definition if you would like. Check out the exercise routine below to get started, increase the reps and/or sets to fit your needs.