Core muscles are located in your torso. They include the abdomen, middle to the lower back area, hips, and sides. Most people think that working on core muscles is only important if you want to develop abs. Contrary to this belief, there are many benefits when your core muscles are strong.
For some, core muscles are the hardest to develop and strengthen, and it takes a lot of effort and consistency. Many people hire trainers, go to the gym, or invest in core exercise equipment.
Importance of Having Strong Core Muscles
Your core muscles play an important role because it supports the organs and helps align your spine. Most full-body movements also depend on your core muscles. Doing core exercises does not only help strengthen your arms and legs, it also affects internal body processes. Core muscles contract when you expel waste like feces or vomit. It also helps with pushing, lifting, and birthing.
Core muscles help stabilize your body and improve your balance. When you train your pelvis, hips, and lower back, you’ll find yourself having a good sense of balance when you do other physical activities.
This is why many athletes take time to develop their core muscles. When you have weak core muscles, you’ll regularly feel fatigue and have less endurance when doing strenuous activities. Besides that, having weak core muscles causes poor posture, and you are more susceptible to lower back pain and injuries.
Exercises to Strengthen Your Core
Now that you realize the importance of core strength, you should plan to improve your core muscles. The right exercise equipment and stability gear can help you with this. Check out GroomAndStyle to find the best inversion tables available right now.
There are also tons of exercises like crunches and push-ups that can help you develop a strong core. However, these exercises may be too much if you’re still a beginner. These are five simple exercises to get you started on improving your core strength:
- Bird Dog
Bird Dog is one of the basic poses in yoga, and it is also one of the basic exercises to develop core strength. This exercise is excellent to improve core stability because you don’t just work on your core, but also your arms and legs.
The exercise works both anti-extension and anti-rotation muscle movements and improves your body coordination.
Planking is one of the simplest exercises and also the most challenging in developing your core strength. Planks are a classic, and it’s a good exercise you can do anywhere and anytime. A proper plank is done by extending your legs behind you, with your forearms supporting your body while it’s as flat as a plankboard.
Holding it for at least 30 seconds for every set helps develop those core muscles. There are many variations in planking to make it more interesting and challenging. Some people like to increase its difficulty by raising an arm or a leg, while some like to add cardio exercises like plank jacks.
- Flutter Kicks
Flutter kicks are great workout routines to help develop those lower abdominal muscles. It does not only work on your core, but also works on your glutes and lower back. You can do it for a set time or several repetitions per set.
Keeping your shoulder, legs, and head raised simultaneously puts a strain on your core. For beginners, lower your head and shoulders to the ground and work your way up as you get used to the exercise.
- Clam Shells
Working on your core does not only mean working on your abdomen; you have to work on your sides and hips. The clamshells exercise is said to be one of the best routines to strengthen your hips and sides.
This is also often used in physical therapy to help with back pain. Clamshells help reduce back pain by reinforcing the core and lower back muscles. It also works on your glutes, which are considered the strongest muscle in the body. The glutes are the powerhouse that helps in maintaining that stability when you do any physical movement.
- Russian Twists
The Russian twist is a good exercise that works on your abs, sides, back, leg, and arm muscles. Twisting the upper body and midsection from side to side while lifting your feet puts a strain in your muscles’ oblique.
Many people use weights to heighten the workout’s intensity, and some further lean back to create a more difficult angle.
Developing your core means so much more than having six-pack abs. There is no easy way to develop a strong core. Some people use ab-toning belts, but supplementing it with proper exercise is still essential.
These exercises may look simple at first, but you’ll see how challenging they are when you execute them. There are also more ways you can work on your core strength such as using inversion tables or doing crunches.