Strengthening Your Core to Prevent Injury and Stay Healthy
Your core is your center of balance and strength for almost everything you do.
Your core muscles are a group of muscles running down the center of your body. These include your abdominal muscles, back muscles, and your pelvis. These core muscles work together to help you
maintain balance, posture and strength.
A strong core is good for your overall health, but it’s especially important to work on strengthening this group of muscles if you suffer with any kind of lower back pain. Working on your core can help you to improve your posture, which prevents aches and pains.
If you’re sporty, it’s wise to keep your core nice and strong because a strong set of core muscles is vital for athletic performance and helps to prevent injuries.
Can I Strengthen My Core?
It’s easy to strengthen these important muscles with a few exercises you can try at home. They also have the added benefit of helping to tone your abdominal muscles, back, glutes, and legs.
Easy core strengthening moves:
- Yoga and Pilates
Yoga and Pilates type exercises are very popular workout routines that are aimed toward building a strong and healthy core. You can find yoga and Pilates videos online, on DVD, or even learn poses from books and magazines. These are easy to do from home and most routines do not even require any sort of equipment.
Pilates Moves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QURr_ujngCg
The Plank is a classic core strengthening move that’s fiendishly hard at first but gets easier with practice. Planking is great for the whole body, from your arms all the way down through your legs, and is thought to be better exercise for your abs than crunches.
Start by getting into the top of a push-up position on the floor or to make it easier on your wrists you can put your forearms on the floor at 90-degree angles always keeping your arm bones under your shoulders. Straighten your whole body out, through to your feet up on your toes careful not to let your back sag toward the ground or arch up towards the sky. Use your core muscles to hold the position for as long as possible. Time yourself each day, hold the Plank pose for a few more seconds.
Here’s a tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dz0oFaVGuh4
- Balance ball
Using a balance ball helps you to focus on your core muscles when doing certain exercises. You can use a balance ball to do push-ups, crunches, and more. Even simply sitting on a balance ball instead of a chair helps you strengthen your core muscles during the day. Make sure you get the correct size ball for your size there are charts to make sure you pick the right size on most balance ball packaging.
Starting in crunch position with your hands behind your ears, reach your elbow to the opposite knee, extending the other leg out. Repeat the motion, alternating sides, and working your legs as if riding a bicycle. Continue the motion for an extended period of time, at least 30 seconds, before resting and then repeating.
- Superman Back Extensions
Don’t only work the front of your core the posterior side is just as important! Lie face down on the floor. I like to have my arms out to the side like airplane wings keeping the neck long and legs straight out but as close together as possible. Simultaneously raise your arms and legs off the ground toward the sky, pause and lower repeat 8 – 15 times stop if you experience pain.
Try to make time for a few core-strengthening sessions a week. Your whole body will thank you for it!
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