When you hear the experts talk about the importance of a “strong core”, do you imagine a chiseled six-pack? It’s hard not to. In reality, a strong core involves many more muscle groups than just the abdominal muscles. And thankfully, you don’t have to look like you came out of a Baywatch trailer in order to have good core strength.
This week on the blog, we discuss the importance of core strength. Ditch your perceptions about aesthetics (we know, it’s hard to), and read on to learn why our virtual physio clinic believes a strong core is important for everybody.
Your Core is Your Stabilizer
The core is the support system of your center mid body. It encompasses all the muscles around the trunk and pelvis—abs, back, hips, and chest. These muscle groups allow you to move in multiple directions, on multiple planes of movement. It acts as a stabilizer and controls the pelvis and, importantly, the spine.
You use your core in most everyday activities. If you filled your kettle this morning, your core helped you stay balanced as you bent over and lifted the kettle to the stove. If you reached for a heavy can off of the shelf for lunch, your core stabilized that movement. If you carried bags of groceries home from the store this afternoon, your core helped you carry that load. A strong core helps us perform functional movement in everyday life.
Back Pain? Strengthening Your Core Might Help
It’s estimated that up to 80% of adults experience lower back pain in their lifetime. It’s one of the most common reasons that people access virtual physio services. Research suggests that a weak core is one of the top contributors to lower back injuries. This makes sense when we consider that the core includes all the muscle groups in the trunk—including the low back area. The weaker the core, the less stability through the pelvis and spine. The less stability, the more likely an acute injury or nagging pain will present.
A Stronger Core Benefits Everybody
Improved core strength benefits everybody. Regardless if you’re a young athlete or an ageing grandparent, a strong core is important for injury prevention. If you are an athlete—whether a runner, basketball player, or swimmer—a strong core will always work in your favour and improve performance. If you are in an ageing body, a strong core is essential to balance and stability. Improved balance means less falls, which means less need for recovery therapies.
Get Your Plank On
Regardless of your age or activity level, a stronger core will improve performance, promote efficient movement and help prevent injuries. As virtual physio practitioners, we want you to live healthy and functional lives, which is why we tout the importance of this. Exercises such as planks, pushups, bird dogs, and ab wheels are just some examples of excellent core exercises.
If you are in the market for a good core exercise program, want to refine your technique or have questions about pain, get in touch with us! We love talking about how to build better movements for stronger bodies in our virtual physio clinic.