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Five Benefits of a Stronger Core
How does a strong core help you? Learn about five essential benefits of strengthening your core muscles.
Working out your core is an essential, often neglected, part of a well-rounded fitness regimen. Yet, its importance is usually lost in translation and overshadowed by its notion as a vanity project (6-pack abs, anyone?) and not much more.
But core strength is SO much more than looking good without a shirt on, and it’s time to give credit where credit is due. Let’s talk about all the real-life benefits of a stronger core.
Better Balance & Stability
A weak core contributes to feeling off-balance and a higher risk of falling. Core stability relates to your inner core muscles, which help stabilize your spine. As core strength increases, dynamic balance improves.
"Core strength is intimately related to balance, because you need good stability at your core to have safe and effective movement at the hip, knee, and ankle," says Kailin Collins, a physical therapist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
Try and find a sport or activity in which core strength is not critical to athletic performance… trust us, you won’t. Poor exercise form occurs when a weak core cannot support you. When your core is strong and stable, you’re able to perform activities at a higher level with less fatigue.
For example, when you’re doing a push-up in a Strength class, your core strength will help keep your spine long and avoid sagging hips. In turn, your core will fatigue less and provide support for other hard-working muscles.
As the base support of your body, core strength not only increases athletic performance but is actively keeping us safe in all of our movements. A weak core is the number-one risk for potential injuries–even if it isn’t the main reason, it definitely plays a large role.
Not only will it help prevent injuries of the lower extremities, like your hips, legs and ankles, but it also helps prevent shoulder or elbow injuries. In addition, overuse injuries are common when core muscles are not strong and responsive enough to react quickly to force (like running or jumping).
Core strength helps you stand tall with your limbs in alignment–allowing you to maintain a neutral spine. With improved posture, you experience health benefits, like a decreased risk of disc herniation and vertebrae degeneration, and improved breathing.
All in all, a strong core means standing up straight–so you feel stable and protect against back injury. Plus, you’ll exude even more confidence.
Pelvic Floor Strength
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles across the opening of the pelvis that support all lower organs. Many people, especially women, can experience a weakened pelvic floor. Enter: pregnancy, childbirth, menopause. One of the most common issues caused is urinary incontinence, and most people learn to live with it.
Retraining and strengthening your core, when performed correctly, helps eliminate or avoid any issues caused by a weak pelvic floor.
Lesson learned: our abdominals provide the foundation for strong and stable movement. Now you have 5 reasons to motivate you to give your core the attention it deserves. If you haven’t already, we encourage you to join our Abs Accelerator Program focused on building a stronger core in 4 weeks.