Most us know that having a stable core is important for maintaining correct posture, preventing injuries and also for enhancing performance. But, when was the last time you gave your core muscles a little TLC? Don’t remember yeah? So what’s the concern?
Well, here’s something eye-opening.
Core muscles work SUPER HARD for you all day, every day. But we don’t give them the attention they deserve – and when we DO think about them, it’s probably about how they look. Let’s go back to the basics and understand what is core and how important are core muscles.
What Is Core?
Your core is FAR more than just your ab muscles. It also includes your spine, pelvic girdle, abdomen, and hip joints. Some definitions even include your lat (upper back) muscles.
Plus, your shoulders and chest play a role in your core stability and strength!
That means it’s helpful to think about your entire TRUNK comprising your core muscles. When all of these muscles are aligned and working together, your core is stable and strong. And when your core is stable, your entire body benefits! You’re stronger, more balanced, and can generate more power when needed – helping to prevent injuries and falls!
Your Core Muscles:
- Form the basis of basically EVERY movement you make, day and night
- Keep your spine safe and stable as you move your arms and legs
- Help you keep your balance
- Power your breathing
- Support your organs, and
- Keep you standing and sitting tall
When they are out of whack, you can get headaches, neck aches, and low back pain (80% of us suffer from back pain at some point!).
You also can feel stiff and sore, tired, or have a hard time turning your head in either direction – plus, having weak core muscles can make you feel older than you actually are.
What Is The Problem?
The problem is that for many of us, these muscles are out of balance because of the everyday things we do (or don’t do).
- Sitting slouched in front of a laptop, or sitting too much
- Walking hunched over a phone, and
- Sleeping in not-so-optimal positions (i.e., curled up in a ball)
- Even doing certain types of exercise (such as running)
Here’s an example for better understanding: If you sit hunched over a computer for hours a day at work, it can cause your chest, shoulder, abdominal, and hip flexor muscles to become short, tight, and “activated,” while your back and glute muscles lengthen and become less active.
You can see how it wouldn’t take very long for this to affect the stability and strength of your core.
So … what can you do about it?
Start with this little assignment…
Every time you look at your phone today, think about your POSTURE! Sitting or standing tall helps keep those muscles in balance. Plus, it can improve your breathing AND your energy levels. Give it a try. It’s the simple things we do every day that can have the biggest impact on how we feel!
Having a stable core is important for health, wellness and enhancing performance. When your muscles are out of balance … it can lead to weakness leading to pain, lack of flexibility and injuries.
We’re all about helping you install simple (but life-changing!) habits to create change and get REAL results. If you would like to get more info on improving core strength, stay tuned to our posts, as we are going to take a deep dive into CORE STRENGTH this month. Meanwhile if you want to act now, sign up for our free Stronger to the core challenge here.