Benefits of not neglecting your core
Your core is your central link which connects your upper and lower body; a weak or inflexible core can have a wide-reaching effect on your mobility, so it's important not to neglect your core, especially when training.
This week we look at the benefits of a strong core and how you can strengthen it. Scitec Nutrition Athlete Emi Roberti explains.
Benefits of core strength
- Your core muscles support posture, so the stronger and more balanced the core muscles are, the straighter your posture will be.
- Strengthening and stabilising your core muscles targets fine motor skills, so you can react quicker allowing you to stay balanced on unstable and/or changing surfaces.
- Strengthening the muscles around your midsection will give your abs a toned and flatter appearance.
- A strong core supports your spine, making your entire body structurally sound, strong and stable. This allows you to safely use heavier weights as you progress your workouts.
- A strong core can reduce back pain.
- Maintains proper muscle balance throughout the entire human movement system.
- Allows for efficient acceleration, deceleration and stabilization during dynamic movements.
- Enhances efficient movement and injury prevention.
- Sitting for extended periods of time is a strain on the body, a strong core can take some of the stress away from the lower back.
- Perform functional and day to day life tasks easier. A lot of core muscles are used to pick something up, put something on a shelf and to bend over to tie your shoe. With a strong core the easier it is to perform simple daily tasks.
How can you strengthen your core?
Core work is different from strength-training programs which tend to isolate a single muscle group. Core workouts challenge as many muscles as possible with integrated and coordinated movements.
Isometric Core Exercises: In these moves, you’ll hold a position for a period of time instead of contracting your muscles through a range of motion. Examples of this are the plank and bridge.
Stability Ball Core Exercises: The stability ball provide serious benefits by adding a stabilization component to your workout and when doing core moves. The instability forces your body to engage both large and small muscles. Examples include stability ball crunches and ball tucks.
Dynamic Core Moves: These workouts involve constant motion including side-to-side, up and down and in all directions (sometimes while holding a weight, medicine ball or kettlebell). In other cases, you’ll simply be doing workout moves while fighting against instability. Example: squat on a stability ball with your arms raised above your head
These are some sample core exercises that you can do to improve your core stability before an upper body or lower body training day.