Everyone who has been to the gym or started some exercise regimen is well aware of the concept of core strength. Yet, there are many people who do not fall under this category and consider this jargon something irrelevant to their day to day. Other perceive core strength with abs like the superheroes; six packs that are rather daunting to look at.
However, these idealizations fail to capture to significance of core strength, not just in appearance, but for the sake of overall health. Core muscles are the set of muscles that regulate the movement of the pelvic region and spine and thus are connected with not just the movement of the lower limbs, but upper as well.
Benefits Of Strong Core
Having strong core muscles enables people to walk and move smoothly. Their balance and coordination are much better. They are also able to recover better from injuries. And not just this, pelvic muscles play an important role in sexual function, bladder and bowel movement.
Therefore, people with poor core strength also suffer from issues of incontinence. Similarly, spine problems also ensue, like curving or rotation of the spine that then requires intervention by the best Orthopedic Surgeon in Lahore.
Moreover, as joint aches like throbbing knees are a result of weak core muscles, improving strength is also then helpful for mitigating the aching joints. Likewise, back and even neck pain can occur due to weakened core muscles.
Therefore, it is very important to work towards improving core strength as otherwise something basic as the movement of your limbs is severely impeded.
Improving Core Strength
After establishing the significance of strong core, it is important to work towards it. First step is the identification of the core muscles and their activation. A physiotherapist can be of great help if you are unable to activate the correct muscles.
Some people also learn to engage their core by using alternative exercises like Pilates and Yoga. Tai chi is also helpful in this regard. Once you have tapped into the right muscles, you can improve your balance and coordination alongside improving the muscle form.
Some Helpful Exercises
It is best for beginners to start off slow and build their stamina for more advanced exercises. Following are some helpful beginner level and easy exercises that can be very effective in improving core strength.
Bridges are very easy to do, and require no equiment. To do this exercise, simply lie flat on your yoga mat or the floor, with your hands to your sides, palms facing up. Your legs should be bent at the knees. Breathe in as you lift your glutes to the air. Hands and feet should remain firmly planted on the floor.
Your back should form a straight line, so do not sag your back. Hold this from 10-30 seconds. Exhale as you lower yourself. Repeat reps, depending on your comfort level. You can then gradually build your stamina.
Planks are akin to pushups, except the latter push you can extra mile. Planks involve basically holding the body on all fours. Feet should be holding the lower body up, whereas upper body rests on the forearms. For greater challenge, you can rest your upper body on your hands rather than forearms.
It is important to ensure that the body does not sag. Make sure to pull your belly in. Hold plank position for around 15-60 seconds after which you can gently lower your body down. Repeat as necessary.
Not only will this posture improve your core, but also make your biceps stronger as well.
This exercise is deceptive; looks easy and is anything but. To do this, lie flat on your back, arms to your sides with palms facing upwards. You can also stack them under your hips for extra support.
Slowly, raise both your legs up. Make sure the legs are as straight as possible, and both knees are touching each other. Extend your legs till the soles face the ceiling. Then, slowly lower the legs, but let them not touch the floor; legs should hover slightly above the floor. Repeat these reps.
Crunches are challenging but are just as effective. To do them, lie down on your back, and legs bent at the knees. Lift your upper body as you move towards your knees. Ideally, you should be utilizing your upper body strength, so do not use your hands for support.
If you have back ache or injury, please refrain from exercising till your Orthopedic Surgeon in Karachi approves your exercise program.