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Nice Core


I have never heard anyone on the beach say “Nice core.”

There was never an exercise video named “Cores of Steel.”

My son says “Never skip leg day”.  We should add “Never skip core day”.

 

What is a core?

Why is it important?

How to strengthen it?

 

Your core muscles are the middle of your body. 

·         In the front of your body, they are your abdominal muscles. 

·         On the sides, they are your oblique muscles.

·         On your back, they are your gluteus muscles (medius, minimus and maximus). 

 

A strong core when you are younger can mean better posture and better athletic performance.  As you get older, a strong core can mean less back pain, better balance, less risk of injuries like muscle strains and less risk of falls.

 

No matter how strong your core is currently, it is a good idea to add a core strengthening routine. There are a couple of simple ways to find out just how much strengthening would be beneficial.  You might have a weak core if you have a difficult time standing from a squatted position without using your hands.  If you are a little older, you could try getting up from a seated position without using your hands.  You might have a weak core if you are unstable standing on one leg as your core muscles stabilize your pelvis, hips, and lower back. 

 

How to strengthen your core:

·         The classic core exercise is the plank.  The internet is a good resource if you need to search for more information. Start slow.

·         Back Bridge or Glute Bridge.  Lay on your back, knees bent with your feet flat on the floor.  Tighten your abs and raise your hips off the floor until they line up with your knees and shoulders.  Hold for three seconds and return.

·         Superman.  Lie on your stomach.  Tighten your abs and raise your right arm (while straightened) off the floor for three seconds.  Repeat for left arm, then right leg, then left leg. Repeat.

 

These are the classics.  The internet offers more for those that may have issues getting on the ground, knee or hip issues, or other restrictions. 

2 Comments


Planks are great. You get allot of benefit you can feel for a small invest of your time. Special equipment is not required and a plank can be performed anywhere. My favorite time to plank is while I’m watching sporting events.

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I couldn't agree more about that trifecta of benefit, time and equipment.

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