The term Core has earned a lot of popularity these years. Core strengthening has become an important part in our daily routine exercise protocol.
Ever imagined what exactly the term Core stands for? Let me explain to you in simple terms:
The Core is Torso /Trunk, that extends from your shoulder to the pelvis. It is a group of muscles that supports your body from the Front, Side and Back.
It is comprised of the following muscles:
IMPORTANCE OF CORE STRENGTHENING:
1) CORE STRENGTHENING HELPS TO CORRECT AND MAINTAIN ERECT POSTURE : Many individuals are unable to maintain erect posture. This can be your problem too. Tucking in your tummy and flaring your chest while standing is not an erect posture. A question also arises that even after improving mobility of the Thoracic and Lumbar Spine why is the posture not getting corrected. The only way to correct and maintain an erect posture is to activate and strengthen the muscles around the spine so that they work symmetrically to support the spine which is the exact work of the core muscles to provide stability and support to the spine from all the directions thus maintaining an erect posture).
2) REDUCES EXCESS LOAD ON YOUR SPINE WHILE DOING AN EXERCISE :
It is observed that many athletes tend to use external weightlifting belts to reduce the stress on spine while lifting heavy weights in order to decrease the chances of injuries and improve the bio-mechanics during lifting .By using an external belt you are just suppressing your normal body mechanism of core activation during an exercise which is to help you maintain proper form of your body, activate both the anterior and posterior chain muscles together, activate working of Gluteus muscles for equal distribution of loads, strengthen the overall core musculature along with the targeted area thus reducing the load from your spine.
3) HELPS YOU GET RID OF BACK PAIN :
It has been seen that alterations in muscle recruitment suggests that there is insufficiency in core stabilization which leads to back pain. Many individuals tend to take the overall pressure on the back muscles due to weak core which classically leads to low back pain. It has also been observed in runners who tend to bend forward and run face a lot of back pain issues due to improper core stabilization during the running.
4) CORE STRENGTHENING HAS A SIGNIFICANT EFFECT ON AN ATHLETE’S ABILITY TO DEVELOP AND TRANSFER FORCES TO THE LIMBS :
Core muscles provide stability that allows generation of force and motion in the lower extremities, as well as distributing impact forces and allowing controlled and efficient body movements. Imbalances or deficiencies in the core muscles can result in increased fatigue, decreased endurance and injury.
5) HELPS IMPROVE BALANCE AND STABILITY :
Balance requires immediate activation of all the muscle right from your torso to your lower and upper body in order to support and maintain the achieved position. Core strengthening helps in activating and maintaining the symmetry of the static and dynamic core muscles thus improving balance and stability.
HOW IS CORE STRENGTHENING DIFFERENT FROM ABS WORKOUT:
• Core exercises are built in such a way that they cover the whole torso from anterior to posterior for e.g if you are doing an elbow plank hold the muscles involved would be:
Primary muscles: erector spinae, rectus abdominis and transverse abdominis.
Secondary muscles (segmental stabilizers): trapezius , rhomboids, rotator cuff, the anterior, medial and posterior deltoid muscles, pectorals, serratus anterior, gluteus maximus, quadriceps and gastrocnemius.
• Whereas Abdominal crunches only strengthen the front of your torso muscles which are rectus abdominis and to some part your external or internal oblique muscles.
HOW TO RECRUIT YOUR CORE:
• Starting position is lying on your back in neutral spine.
• Slowly draw the section of your abdomen situated below your belly button upwards and inwards “away from your belt line”.
• Breathe normally (Nasal breathing).
• Rib cage should remain relaxed and should not elevate during this process.
• You should be able to feel the muscle contracting if you press deeply in from the bony prominence at the front of your pelvis.
• Hold this muscle contraction for 25-30 sec and relax.
Contributed By :
Musculoskeletal and Sports Physiotherapist and his newest Youtube Channel, Kindly View. Comment. Like. Subscribe for Amazing Core Exercises and Demonstrations.
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