Your core refers to the group of muscles in the middle section of the body. They include abdominals, obliques, diaphragm, and a few others. A strong core helps keep your trunk steady during daily activities. If your core is weak there is a greater risk of lower back pain. There are 5 main reasons to develop a strong core.
- Supports balance
- Improves posture
- Increases stability
- Can reduce pain
- Helps you age better
Here are a few examples of exercises used to strengthen your core. Do 3 to 4 sets with each set being 20 to 30 seconds per exercise.
- Lay on your stomach, then place your lower arms on the floor keeping your elbows under your shoulders
- With your legs outstretched, go up on your toes
- Tuck your bottom under, pull in your core muscles, hold
- There are many variations of a plank
- Sit on the floor with your knees bent in and your spine straight
- Heals are off the ground and toes are flexed
- Keep your legs together as you twist your body from side to side
- You can hold a dumbbell with both hands while twisting
- Lie on your back with your arms extended straight up
- Lift your legs and bend your knees
- Activate your core and push your lower back into the floor
- Lower your right arm towards the floor behind your head while extending your left leg until both are just above the floor.
- Slowly return to the starting position.
- Repeat with opposite arm and leg.
- From a push up position, bring your right knee toward your left tricep.
- Jump and switch legs to bring your left knee toward your right foot back
- Repeat quickly but with control
- Lay flat on your back with your legs out straight
- Lift your legs up and down alternating left and right
- Keep your cored engaged by lifting your head
- Keep your back flat against the floor
In addition to the 5 main reasons to develop a strong core, strengthening your core can also help prevent falls and injuries from daily activities. A strong core is really needed for almost everything you do!