The importance of having a strong and healthy core
| FLOW Athlete
Having a strong and healthy core is so important, not only in your training but also in your everyday life. While you may not think about it unless you’re actively training your abs, you use your core in almost every movement you make, from walking and balancing to reaching and even standing up from your chair.
Take a look here at the benefits of having a strong core and how you can keep it that way.
What are the benefits of a strong core?
One of the main benefits of having a strong core is the added stability that you will have in your back, especially in your lower back. Not only can this benefit your weightlifting, as a strong core helps to prevent your lower back from taking all the strain, but it also means that you will be much less likely to suffer from back pain.
With back stability comes the added benefit of increased flexibility. When your back is properly stabilised, tension and stress that you might not even realise are there is taken off your lower back. This allows a greater range of motion in your ligaments and muscles that can now work the way they’re supposed to work, which translates through to greater flexibility.
If you’re a powerlifter or a professional runner, you know the importance of maximum power. Your core is the central powerhouse of all your movements. The stability and strength that a strong core provides are what allows you to take off quickly or lift the weight from the ground with greater force than those with a weaker core.
Runners rely on core strength. A strong core will help to keep your torso upright while allowing your hips, pelvis and lower back to work together smoothly with less energy expenditure and a smaller chance of injury. This solid form will help you improve your overall strength and increase your running speed.
Top exercises for a strong core
These are a great way to engage your core, your obliques and your spine. Russian twists are an effective exercise to help you build your core muscles and they will even have the added benefit of working your shoulders too.
Holding a plank is a sure-fire way to fire up most of the muscles in your core. A plank is fantastic as it will help improve your flexibility, posture and body alignment while also improving your overall core strength.
This exercise targets your lower and upper abdominal muscles specifically and can help strengthen your hip flexors.
Leg raises are particularly useful for your lower abdominal muscles and have the added benefit of also working your hamstrings, glutes and calf muscles.
Deadlifts are an amazing all-around compound exercise that benefits almost every part of your body. Not only do they help strengthen your posterior chain and back, but they will also activate your hip flexors and increase your core strength and stability.
Always wear the right gear for your training
No matter what kind of training split or muscle group you’re planning on training that day, always make sure that you’re wearing the best gear for your session. Opt for comfortable, sweat-wicking clothing that is going to support you throughout your workout.
On core days, you can throw on a pair of gym shorts and a stringer and you’ll be good to go.
Now that you know the importance of your core muscles in everything from everyday activities to your performance in the gym or on the track, be sure to schedule yourself a regular core session in the gym. You’ll no doubt start seeing the benefits of your increased abs exercises in no time at all.