What muscles make up our core?
Abdominals, muscles of the lower back, hip and pelvis. Training and strengthening these muscles will help us to keep good posture which can lead to preventing injuries, including back problems.
Exercises good for strengthening core muscles
There are various weight training and resistance exercises such as, Squats, Deadlift varieties, hyperextensions and of course any of the many abdominal exercises. There are many other forms of exercises such as planks and other limited movement static body weight exercises that are effective for strengthening our core as-well.
Benefits of a strong core
- Improved body posture.
- Less likely to suffer from injuries, including the lower back.
- Improved aerobatic and sporting performance.
- Improved overall strength, balance and stability.
- Daily activities will become easier.
- Better sporting performance.
- Strong core muscles will offer better protection to the spine and other vital areas.
Tips to improve your core
- Stand up and sit up straight, don’t slouch, slouching is very bad for our posture, slouching can undo some of the good work that we do via exercise.
- Perform exercises that strengthen the core muscles, again these are the muscles of the lower back, abdominals, hip and pelvis area.
- Train and strengthen each muscle of the core evenly. For example it’s common for people to focus on their abdominals and pay less attention to their lower back, therefore resulting in an unevenly trained core. A less stable central area could cause health and performance issues.
- If you perform exercises such as the shoulder press you can perform this exercise either seated or standing. While seated your core is being party supported by whatever you are sitting on, however if you are standing your core muscles come more into play to stabilize your body. So performing the exercise while standing helps to strengthen your core.
Static and Dynamic exercises
Both static and dynamic exercises are recommended for core strength, static exercises such as the plank and the side plank is recommended. Dynamic exercises such as various abdominal exercises, hyperextensions and its variants will target the lower back. Also compound resistance exercises such as the deadlift and squats are also ideal for core strength.
Maintaining core flexibility is also very important. Various flexibility exercises such as the seated inner thigh stretch and the side lunge. Most hamstring stretches also stretch the muscles of the lower back, so they would be recommended as-well as the standing side oblique stretch, to name a few.
Always take care when performing any exercise and consult your doctor if you have any health problems.