The core muscles are the muscles in the body’s center of gravity that support the spine and torso; the core muscle group does not include the muscles of the arms and legs.
These muscles are the main support of the body and these are the muscles that initiate movement.
Working out all of the core muscles instead of focusing on the abdominal muscles helps to build a stronger foundation for other workouts and activities.
Strengthening the core muscle group enhances athletic performance.
Strong core muscles can also reduce back pain by maintaining the lumbar curve and overall posture.
Strength training in the core muscles helps to stabilize the body while allowing the muscles to work together and function as a unit. This helps to stabilize the body during complex movements that are performed by multiple muscles simultaneously.
The core itself is the base of the body. This is the area where all of the major activity and vital functions that do not occur within the brain occur.
The Muscles of the Core include:
- Rectus Abdominis. The abdominal muscle group that is worked to give the six-pack look.
- Internal and External Obliques. These run in opposite directions to each other and are on the abdomen and sides.
- Transverse Abdominis (TVA). This is the waist muscles or deepest of abdominal muscles located underneath the obliques and wrapped around the spine.
- Multifidus and Erector Spinae. The muscles that are used to rotate the spine and the group of muscles from the neck to the low back.
- Hip Flexors and Abductors. These are the muscles that move the hips and upper thighs.
- Gluteus Medius and Minimus, Gluteus Maximus, Hamstring and Piriformis. These muscles are often referred to as the butt and are located in the upper thigh, at the side of the hip and the back of the hip.
When the core muscles become weak you will begin to see problems including bad posture, weak abs, excess adipose tissue around the midsection and more specifically on the abdomen and a decline in organ health.
A weakened core can contribute to several health problems including stress; which in turn contributes to more health issues. Weak core muscles affect overall health and fitness.
Internal organs in the core are not properly protected when the core muscles are weak. These organs are also unable to perform their functions properly when they are hidden under adipose tissue.
Strengthening the core muscles goes beyond ab routines. Ab exercises are good exercises and should not be eliminated from your routine; they are just not enough to strengthen the core.
Some good exercises for core training include resistance and instability exercises. Working out on a stability ball helps the core muscles to develop and strengthens the core muscles.
If you don’t have a stability ball, you can still do core strength training by doing Pilates.
A routine that includes exercise working each of the muscles from the core group should be included in your weekly routine.
It is important that you have worked each muscle at least once a week and preferably three times a week. Exercises to include in your routine could be:
- Push ups
- Back extensions
- Plank and side plank exercise
Working all of the muscles in your core muscle group instead of focusing on the abdominal muscles will give you the stability and strength in the core to build on.
Keeping your core strength is important for several areas of health and fitness.
Pilates and Yoga are excellent forms of exercise, as is using a wobble board or stability ball.
When you want to focus on core strength training there are many different exercises you can choose.
The answer is to find those that best suit your abilities because they will be the most beneficial.
Category: Core Exercises
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