Your core is a complex series of muscles, extending far beyond your abs. These incredibly important muscles are incorporated in almost every movement of your body, yet most people know nothing about them.
Many of the core muscles are hidden beneath the exterior ‘show-off’ musculature (e.g. abs or external oblique’s). The core muscles include the transverse abdominus, multifidus, diaphragm, and the pelvic floor.
Your core most often acts as a stabilizer and force transfer center rather than a prime mover. Understand that core strength is the ability to produce stability, not to lift the heaviest weights in the gym.
There are 5 components to core stability:
4. Motor Control
Without a balance of all these components, the core muscles become like a fish flopping out of water – no matter how strong or how much endurance that fish has, it is useless without water.
Research has shown that athletes with higher core stability have a lower risk of injury. Therefore you should regularly have your core stability assessed to see how you measure up!
When beginning to work on improving your core strength, first talk to a health professional to find out what you can do that is safe for you and your body. After you learn how to properly perform core exercises, you can practice them at home with little or no equipment.
Beginner: To get started, try focusing on your posture. As you stand or walk, engage your core by gently pulling your belly button towards your spine.
Intermediate: As you progress and develop more core strength, you can start to do more challenging exercises, such as standing on one foot; or begin to use core-strengthening equipment, such as stability balls, and wobble boards.
Advanced: When you are a little more advanced, you can try to do core exercises like planks and V-sits. These help to strengthen the muscles that stabilize your spine.
If you looking to strengthen your core, seek out the advice of a health professional to get you started safely. At Waters Family Chiropractic, we are happy to help.