I take a weekly Cardio Strength class at my local gym. It is one of my favorite classes and incorporates total body strengthening, cardio intervals and stretching. The instructor always ends the class with core work and then stretching. Mainly because core work is a great way to cool down from higher intensity work and settle into stretching. But it never fails that half the class puts away there weights and mats and is gone when the core session starts.
Many people hate working their core. They find crunches tedious and difficult. Well, crunches are difficult, but core work doesn’t have to be tedious. And it’s incredibly beneficial!
The 29 muscles of your core are used in everyday movements. Your core plays a big part in coming from a sit to standing position or bending over to wipe up a spill on the floor. Even when you are just standing in your yard talking to your neighbor, your core is hard at work keeping you upright.
And have you ever noticed back pain from sitting all day (at a computer or watching tv)? This is because your core wasn’t engaged and keeping you in the correct posture. A weak core will cause your body to slouch and oftentimes leads to low and middle back pain.
If you are a golfer, tennis, swimmer, runner, baseball player or enjoy water sports, a strong core is important not only to help keep your game at optimum level, but to prevent injury.
Your core muscles help with balance and stability as well. Walking on rough terrain or doing complicated yoga and other exercise moves require a strong core for balance and stability. Also, as we age our neurological sensations decrease causing balance and stability problems. A strong core will help us stay in good health, posture and prevent falls and stumbles.
From every day work to athletic endeavors, our core is always a key component to fitness and injury prevention.
Core exercise of the day: Bridges
Bridges work the rectus abdominis and erector spinae as well as your gluteal muscles.
For more advanced versions, try weighted bridges by holding a dumbbell, weight plate or weighted bar on your hips.