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May Trainer Tip with Kelly Chase: What does a strong core consist of?

May 1, 2018

I hear it often: “Hey, Kelly… I want a stronger core.”


But, what does that really mean???

Well, the answer is kind of simple. Your “core muscles”,  which are comprised of: the oblique’s, abdominals, lower back, gluteus muscles, and many other hip stabilizing muscles, are essential for everything you do in day. Any type of gross motor movement begins with your core. It flows from your core outwards to your arm and legs. Therefore, by developing a strong core, the rest of your body becomes stronger.


Because many of your body’s movements originate from your core, working toward improving its strength will enhance your posture, spinal alignment, stability and more.


Alleviates Back Pain/Reduces Risk of Injury: The evidence is clear that people with weak core muscles have an increased risk of back ache and injury, since they lack adequate spine support. Core-strengthening exercises and core-engaging workouts, like proper strength training, yoga and Pilates, can help reduce discomfort, improve mobility and improve support for the spine in people with both acute and chronic pain.


Improves Posture: Core-strengthening exercises work all of the muscles of the torso from top to bottom and front to back, helping you stand upright with your limbs in alignment. By improving posture you decrease your risk of a variety of disc and degenerative spinal issues. Another benefit to better posture? Better breathing. That same balance that helps you stand up straight also opens your airway, making breathing in and out easier.


Better Athletic Performance: You’d have difficulty finding a sport that doesn’t rely on core strength for performance. For example, core exercises can keep runners’ legs and arms from tiring quickly. Rowers engage their cores as they paddle; a stronger core allows them to pull harder and faster. Baseball pitchers get the power for their curveballs as much from their cores as they do their arms—maybe more. Your core is the link between your upper and lower body, it is what allows a golfer to swing the club to strike his ball, or a tennis player to serve and optimize her racquet speed. It’s critical to sports performance.


Improved Balance: Poor balance is a complicated condition, but lower body weakness, vestibular dysfunction and neurological deficits are often contributing factors. Studies have shown that dynamic balance improves as core strength increases.


Safer Everyday Movement and Activities of Daily Living: Daily tasks—such as maintaining balance on a slippery sidewalk, carrying groceries, hoisting children and walking up a steep flight of stairs—are easier and less likely to result in an injury when you core is strong. Not only do you have better control of your muscles, but you can more easily find your center if you’re caught off-balance. In addition, being able to rely on a strong core will make it less likely that you’ll overtax other muscles.


Want to start working to improve YOUR core strength? Ask one of our many qualified personal trainers, or try one of our amazing group fitness classes you get with your membership! CX WORX, Pilates, Yoga, Island Barre, Core and More are just to name a few...

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