5 Benefits of Strengthening Your Core Muscles
A strong core is not all about ‘abs’
YOU may have seen people going crazy over building ‘six-pack abs’ in the gym. ‘Abs’ stands for abdominal muscles. Flat and toned abs require strengthening of a number of muscles which are collectively known as ‘the core’.
Now, you must be thinking, “I can do without those abs, so I don’t need a strong core.”
Well, let us clarify that the core muscles impact not just your abs but your entire body’s fitness, and here’s why you need them to be strong.
Core comprises the muscles of abdomen, pelvis, lower back, and hips. These muscles connect your upper body with your lower body, and are vital to support your spine. They play an important role for stability and mobility of the body when you sit, stand, bend, twist, flex, run, swim, and play. This means your core anchors your body in almost everything that you do.
So, let’s see why Dr. YOU suggests you strengthen your core muscles:
- It improves posture- A strong core keeps your posture upright and helps you avoid slouching when you sit. A correct posture in turn avoids hunchback (curved back) which is quite common due to increased mobile phone usage. Improved posture can help avoid neck sprains and shoulder pains. A correct posture also keeps you balanced while moving.
- It prevents back pain- Sitting for long hours behind a desk puts major pressure on lower back muscles. Exercises that engage your core muscles in the abdomen and lower back, can help make those muscles strong and flexible without straining them. This prevents stiffness, muscle pulls, and injuries that can cause back pain.
- It helps in other physical activities- A strong core anchors your entire body by engaging all important muscles in your trunk, pelvis, hips, and back. This results in proper alignment of your limbs while moving. It also helps us maintain good form in day-to-day activities. So, a strong core makes you more efficient in all your tasks without making you feel fatigued.
- It builds endurance- A strong core enables proper distribution of body weight. It avoids burden on other muscles by allowing stronger functional movement. For the same reason, it also improves athletic performance and your ability to do other exercise forms like cardio and strength training.
- It helps you age well- As you age, you gradually lose muscle mass and balance. Core-strengthening exercises keep muscles active and flexible by reducing rigidity. This provides better alignment and coordination. As a result, a strong core prevents risk of accidental falls and injuries due to sudden movements like bending, rotating, twisting, lifting, or even stumbling. It also keeps you mobile and active as you age.
So, now that you know the importance of a strong core, get ready to incorporate core strengthening exercises. A strong core can help you achieve much more than a ‘flat belly’. To start with, you can go for simple exercises like planks, sit-ups, crunches, and yoga postures that work on bending and twisting your back and abdomen.
Remember, the only person who can keep YOU the healthiest is YOU!
DISCLAIMER: Dr. YOU aims to bring you the latest evidence-based science, and our content is for informational purposes only. The content is not medical advice or guarantee of an outcome. You should always consult a doctor or qualified healthcare professional if you need further clarification and before making any changes to your treatment plans and lifestyle, or that of others.
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