Think of your core muscles as the sturdy central link in a chain connecting your upper and lower body. Whether you’re hitting a tennis ball, mopping the floor, or running on a trail, the necessary motions either originate in your core, or move through it.
No matter where motion starts, it ripples upward and downward to adjoining links of the chain. Thus, weak or inflexible core muscles can impair how well your arms and legs function. And that saps power from many of the moves you make. Properly building up your core cranks up the power. A strong core also enhances balance and stability. Thus, it can help prevent falls and injuries during sports or other activities. In fact, a strong, flexible core underpins almost everything you do:
- Everyday acts. Bending to put on shoes or scoop up a package, turning to look behind you, sitting in a chair, or simply standing still — these are just a few of the many mundane actions that rely on our core and that we might not notice until they become difficult or painful.
- On-the-job tasks. Jobs that involve lifting, twisting, and standing all rely on core muscles. But less obvious tasks, like sitting at your desk for hours, engage our core as well. Phone calls, typing, computer use, and similar work can make back muscles surprisingly stiff and sore, particularly if you’re not strong enough to practice good posture and aren’t taking sufficient breaks.
- A healthy back. Low back pain, a debilitating, sometimes excruciating problem affecting four out of five Americans at some point in their lives, may be prevented by exercises that promote well-balanced, resilient core muscles.
- Sports and other pleasurable activities. Golfing, tennis or other racquet sports, biking, RUNNING, swimming, baseball, volleyball, kayaking, rowing and many other athletic activities are powered by a strong core. Less often mentioned are sexual activities, which call for core power and flexibility, too.
- Balance and stability. Our core stabilizes our body, allowing us to move in any direction, even on the bumpiest terrain, or stand in one spot without losing our balance. Core exercises can lessen your risk of falling.
- Housework, fix-it work, and gardening. Bending, lifting, twisting, carrying, hammering, reaching overhead — even vacuuming, mopping, and dusting are acts that spring from, or pass through, the core.
- Good posture. Weak core muscles contribute to slouching. Good posture trims your silhouette and projects confidence. More importantly, it lessens wear and tear on the spine and allows you to breathe deeply. Good posture helps you gain full benefits from the effort you put into exercising, too.
Weak, tight, or unbalanced core muscles can undermine us in any of these realms. While it’s important to build a strong core, it’s unnecessary to aim all our efforts at developing rippling abs. Overtraining abdominal muscles while snubbing muscles of the back and hip can set you up for injuries and hold us back from achieving our fitness goals. If washboard abs are your holy grail, it’s essential to trim body fat through diet and aerobic exercise and build strong abdominal muscles through frequent core exercise sessions.
Good thing it’s CORE STRONG month in the #CoreCrew! Let’s build our core strength to that will compliment our technique, strength, and stamina…in addition to everything above that a strong core does for us.
It’s Friday Crew…let’s knock out this core work and get ready for a great weekend!
Day 3 Plan:
- Food Challenge: Fruity Friday! Try to have a serving of fruit with every meal!
- Quick Core Workout (#QCW) & Coffee Break Workout
+ 3 Sets of 10 (“how to” videos below)
- Figure 8 with Twist
- Sumo Squat with Side Bend
- High Side Leg Raise
- Standing Dirty Dog
- Wall Sit & Plank (3 x :30)
Day 3 “how to” videos:
Figure 8 with Twist – Can also be done with a single dumbbell just hold one end in each hand
Sumo Squat with Side Bend – Love the addition of the small weights here
High Side Leg Raise
Standing Dirty Dog – similar to a fire hydrant but standing!