The Real Benefits of Core Strengthening Part I
No matter what activity you participate in, your “core” is the center of all muscle activity. Your core is much like the middle link to a thick, sturdy chain. The upper part of the chain is your upper body; the bottom part of the chain is your lower body and the two are connected at the center. A stronger core will not only give you a stronger foundation for your upper and lower body, it will also enhance your stability and balance.
Recreational activities and sports - Every single sport (football, baseball, tennis, golf and even skiing), depends on your body’s core for strength and stability.
Everyday movements - Simple movements like getting in/out of bed or emptying the dishwasher require the use of your core muscles.
Work/job tasks - Any job you perform relies on the core muscles for stability. There are some jobs (especially ones that involve repetitive lifting) that depend on core strength and stability more than others.
Balance and stability - Since your core is truly the “center” of your body and supports your body’s upper and lower extremities and spine, it is used in every single functional task you perform.
A healthy back - Back pain can be excruciating and tends to limit many of your activities. It is estimated that 4 out of 5 people will experience back pain at some point in life. Strengthening the core muscles is the “secret ingredient” to keeping your back healthy.
Gardening and housework - Daily tasks like vacuuming, mopping a floor and making a bed all utilize the strength of your core.
Posture - Having a weak core can lead to poor posture, which in turn contributes to back pain.
You can see from the small list above that the core muscles play a vital role in keeping you strong, and I truly believe that a strong core will also help in preventing injuries. Come back next week to learn some other benefits of a strong core and how physical therapy can help.
Renee Threlfall, MPT