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Adore Your Core

October 4, 2017

While it may be an encouraging initial motivation, a flat tummy or ab definition isn’t the only reason to get your torso in shape. Your core is so much more than just your abominable muscles – it’s your body’s powerhouse!

The core is a complex series of muscles, extending far beyond your stomach – it encompasses the whole torso and mid-section (the abdomen, lower back and pelvis). It is utilised and incorporated in almost every movement of the human body. Highly complex, the core can act as an isometric or dynamic stabiliser for movement, transfer force from one extremity to another, or initiate movement itself. Not only does it facilitate movement, but it also houses your inner organs and central nervous system, as well as supporting your spine. In other words, the strength of your core is vital to your health and overall wellbeing.

Here are five benefits to building a strong core:

Improve your balance and stability
Core exercises train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work in harmony. This leads to overall improved balance and stability, whether in exercise or in daily activities.

Help prevent injuries
Developing a strong torso means building both core stability (those deep internal muscles close to the spine) and core strength. It’s important to build core stability first, and then work on developing core strength. Even though it’s easy to presume that when we’re moving, our extremities do most of the work, the opposite it true: most movement starts at the centre and moves outward. A solid centre will help ensure that your movements are strong and pain-free. Strong core muscles make it easier to do everything from reaching to a top shelf to bending down to tie your shoes. Weak core muscles may leave you susceptible to poor posture, lower back pain and muscle injuries.

Protect your inner organs and central nervous system
Staying healthy also means protecting those vital systems below the surface. Your core is not only where your organs and central nervous system do their work, it’s also where your body’s largest (and most important) veins and arteries are based. Maintaining strong core muscles will help ensure everything stays safeguarded and protected in day-to-day life.

Banish back pain and improve posture
Back pain is a common side effect of a weak core. When our abdominals are weak, it may be because our back muscles are overly strong. Building core strength will help create balance to the front and back of your body, improving alignment. A strong core allows a confident, upright posture whilst supporting and protecting the spinal cord.

Reach your fitness goals
Aerobic exercise and muscular fitness are the primary elements of most fitness programs, but to have a well-rounded exercise regime, consider including core exercises in the mix as well. Reformer Pilates places great emphasis on the core, considering it a physical centre of the body from which all Pilates movements should proceed. Focusing on stability training, Pilates specifically targets the smaller and deeper back and stomach muscles. Once recruited, these muscles control the position of the spine during the dynamic movements of your body within the exercises, building strength and control.

By Eve Brannon

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