With all the buzz surrounding total body workouts, it is easy to forget about targeting core strength, but that might be the mistake that’s holding you back from achieving your desired results.
When people hear the phrase “core workouts” they immediately assume endless crunches and sit-ups are required for washboard abs, but the benefits of core workouts far surpass the ability to show off a six pack and are necessary for achieving real fitness goals.
Your core is the series of muscles in your abdomen, back, hips, and chest that stabilize the entire body and allow you to perform simple motions such as walking or jumping. A strong core allows energy to be transferred to and from the lower and upper body seamlessly, meaning no excess power is lost and your full strength is utilized correctly.
Besides powering a tennis swing or throwing a football, your core also helps you to perform everyday tasks like carrying groceries and bending over to tie your shoes. A weak core can wreck havoc on your ability to move properly, offset your balance, and even cause back pain. If you spend a majority of the day sitting at a desk or driving in a car, your core is at an even higher risk for instability and weakness. Prolonged sitting causes the muscles of your midsection to weaken and protrude, as well as causing hunched posture that can negatively impact your ability to breathe. An inflexible core can also decrease reaction speeds necessary in helping to prevent falls that oftentimes result in injuries.
Since motion originates in your core, a lack of strength or support can undermine the effectiveness of other activities performed by your arm or leg muscles. According to a Harvard Medical School Special Health Report, a weakened core can impair how well your arms and legs function, resulting in less effective muscle movements and disappointing results. If you have hit a plateau in your fitness training, or just want to challenge yourself, a core workout will provide the interior strength necessary for targeting more isolated muscle groups.
Core workouts not only target specific muscles, but also teach those muscles to work efficiently together. Simple core exercises will directly improve your power, spinal stability, and range of motion. For athletes, a more stabilized core means more energy is transferred more effectively, resulting in a more powerful motion. When you step into a pitch, the power from your trunk flows through your core muscles before reaching your arm. If your core is unstable, your power of motion will decrease as it travels through your body and into the throw. More core strength means more of the results you want.
A dynamic core workout facilitated by a professional can relieve back pain, improve rapid muscle movement, and increase your overall strength quickly. Core workouts can be one of the most rewarding supplements to your fitness routine and provide fast results that you can feel at the gym, on the filed, or in the office.
Whether you are looking to relieve pain, improve your golf stroke, or just move easier, an effective core workout will help you get there.