Centering on Your Core Muscles — Why Strengthen Them and How

It’s not unlikely for you to encounter core muscles each time you’re reading about exercise tips and tricks. They’re not being mentioned all the time for no reason. Your core muscles are very important muscles of the body whether you intend to be buff or strong — or both.

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Your core muscles extend beyond your abdominal muscles. In fact, much of the muscles found outside your arms and legs are part of your core. It may not seem obvious but you are actually engaging much of your core muscles each time you are using your extremities, whether you are throwing a basketball or climbing up a flight of stairs.

The core muscles play different roles. They help stabilize each movement that you make. Sometimes they are the ones that initialize movement itself. There are moments when they transfer force from extremity to extremity. Certainly, there are so many physical movements that you wouldn’t be able to do without using or engaging your core muscles.

And this is the reason why fitness experts constantly remind everyone to strengthen their core muscles. A list of some of the best exercises won’t be complete without including a work out routine or two for your core muscles.

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Benefits of Having Strong Core Muscles

Many people think that strengthening the core muscles is only important for the attainment of a flat belly or jaw-dropping six-pack abs. While having strong muscles can actually make that happen, there are far more reasons why it’s important to work them out. These are some of the perks of having strong core muscles:

  • Better posture. With strong core muscles, maintaining proper posture at all times is easier. Standing up straight offers so many benefits, such as reducing spine problems like slipped disk and degeneration of the vertebrae. It also improves your breathing. Additionally, proper posture makes you look taller and more confident.
  • Improved balance. Because one of the primary functions of the core muscles is to stabilize your body, strengthening them makes it easier to maintain your balance whether you’re in a moving vehicle or simply standing in one spot. With improved balance, your risk of getting injuries brought about by accidental falls can be significantly reduced.
  • Superb physical performance. Whether you’re engaging in sports or cleaning the house, having strong core muscles allows you to carry out a wide array of physical activities efficiently. With just about any movement you make relying on excellent core strength, working out your core muscles lets you do everyday tasks better.
  • Healthy back. The muscles in your lower back are part of your core muscles. Naturally, strengthening them helps keep troublesome back pain away. Before all sorts of problems with the lower back strike, it’s a great idea to start strengthening your core muscles which include the muscles in your lower back.

Best Exercises for the Core Muscles

There are so many exercises that zoom in on your core muscles to tone and strengthen them. Doing them not only helps you develop a nicer midsection but also provides you with the different benefits of having stellar core muscle strength. The following are some exercises you may try for stronger core muscles:

  • The plank
    Start by lying flat on your belly on the floor. Use your forearms to lift your upper body off the floor. Prop it up with your elbows. The only points of your body that should be having contact with the floor are your elbows and toes. With your entire body straight, maintain this position for about 30 to 60 seconds.
  • The V-sit
    Lie on the floor on your back. Bend on your waist while you extend your legs, arms and upper body towards the air. You should be forming the shape of the letter V. Try maintaining such position for as long as you can. This particular exercise for the core muscles helps in toning and strengthening the abdominal muscles.
  • Lying windmills
    Lie on your back on the floor and extend both arms. Raise your legs until they’re at a right angle with the floor. Slowly lower both your legs to one side while keeping your shoulder and arms pressed against the floor. Take your legs back to the center and slowly take them to the other side. Repeat until you can do no more.
  • Ball roll-ins
    Plant your hands on the ground. The top of your feet should be propped up on the top of an exercise ball. Bend at the knees and try to take the ball as close to your chest as possible. During the process, focus on tightening your abs to strengthen your core muscles. Roll the ball back to the starting position.
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