5 Reasons You Should Regularly Exercise Your Core

5 Reasons You Should Regularly Exercise Your Core

✓Arm day. ✓Leg day. Core day? If you’re not into ab exercising, hopefully, these benefits will make you exercise your core regularly.

Keeping your body strong and free from injury all starts with a solid foundation—your core. A solid core is necessary for all athletes, no matter what your sport or activity of choice may be.

If you think about your body as if it were a house, (Isn’t it though? A beautiful, well-constructed temple) you wouldn’t be too confident starting the construction process with a soft, wobbly foundation.

It doesn’t matter how long you work on the roof of the house, the walls, the windows, etc. All of that work won’t add up to a solid, sturdy home if the foundation is weak. The same idea applies to your body.

Everyday activities, like lifting a briefcase, sitting down in a chair, or standing for an extended period of time, can be affected by your core.

Weakened muscles can cause a chain reaction throughout your body that makes everything feel a bit off and, most importantly, not working to the best of its ability.

Faulty core muscles can lead to slouching and may also put you in need of back pain relief.

It’s helpful to think about stabilizing your core as working from the inside out. If the transverse abdominis (your deepest core muscle) is not operating properly, it can be overpowered by many other muscles.

Focusing in on the transverse abdominis (we’ll call it “TA” for short) can help to make sure that your body’s trunk is stable throughout any and all physical activities that involve your extremities.

The Benefits Of Exercising Your Core

So if that’s not enough for you to begin to exercise your core, here are a few more proven benefits of increasing core strength on the regular:

1. Increase Performance

No matter the sport or activity you’re participating in, a stronger core is going to help everything move better.

Sports physical therapy can also help by factoring in the demands of your sport of choice while identifying a proper core-training program for your specific needs.

2. Improve Your Balance

Prevent unnecessary falls and injuries and stabilize your body. It’s an unfortunate truth that decreased stability increases as we age.

Any core-training program will include exercises to improve balance.

3. Reduce Injury Risk

Starting at the core can help other areas of the body—your hips, knees, ankles, for example—move most effectively.

4. Stand Taller And Stronger

Core exercises improve your posture. Exercises that target these muscles will work against the slouch position that is so easy to fall into.

5. Train Anytime, Anywhere

Many core exercises can be performed on your own and without the use of special fitness equipment.

Need a place to start? Here are a few abdominal exercises you should perform on a regular basis.

Exercise Your Core With These Workouts

Try these initial core stabilization exercises once a day (for about 1-2 minutes each) and do the best that you can to focus on what your body is doing as you move:

1. TA Marching

  • Lay back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent.
  • Breathe regularly as you focus on your neutral spine and TA contraction.
  • Hold the contraction as you raise your foot slightly off the floor.
  • Return your foot to the ground and repeat, alternating legs.

2. Transverse Abdominis

  • Lay back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent.
  • Rock your pelvis forward and backward to locate your neutral spine by resting in between the two positions.
  • Bring your bellybutton up gently toward the spine as if you’re trying to squeeze into a pair of tight, leather pants.
  • Hold for three breaths.
  • Relax. Repeat.

3. 90/90 Hold

  • Lay back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent. Locate your neutral spine.
  • One at a time, lift each leg up to a 90/90 position.
  • Hold as you make sure not to “bulge” your abdomen toward the ceiling.
  • Breathe regularly as you hold for ten seconds.
  • Relax. Repeat.

4. Quadruped Plank

  • Find your neutral spine as you get down on your hands and knees, keeping your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips with your toes tucked.
  • Breathe regularly as you maintain this position.
  • Lift up your knees and “hover” over the ground.
  • Hold for ten seconds.
  • Relax. Repeat.

If you’d like to keep engaging your core, don’t stop here!

You can use these exercises as an assessment tool to see how easily you can activate these targeted muscles. Think of it as a core-training starting point and progress as your abilities allow.

If you have any further questions or any discomfort with these abdominal exercises, work with a physical therapist to customize a program for you.

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