When imagining a healthy body, the first thing that pops up in a person’s mind is a big set of muscles and six-pack abs. However, there is more to a healthy person’s body than muscles, the same way that there is more to a person’s core than abs.
These abs, or the abdominal muscle, are only a small part or fraction of a person’s core muscles. A human body’s core area comprises different and complex forces that mainly include a person’s trunk region. Everything that is not a person’s arms and legs has mostly the trunk region or the core.
In taking care of a person’s core, there are many ways that a person should consider. For some reason, for people who cannot perform exercises, there are extreme core chiropractic care or treatments. Meanwhile, there are also traditional core exercises that include occasional pushups and sit-ups. One step in ensuring that a person is fit and healthy is to have core exercises as a part of a comprehensive fitness program. There are many benefits in shaping and toning the muscles around your pelvis and trunk, here are some of it.
Benefits of having a strong core
A strong core is your spine’s best friend.
Having a strong core means having a higher chance of preventing back injury and eliminating back pain. A person’s core is the body’s stabilizer. Since most injuries and back pains in a person’s body are caused by postural problems or poor posture connected to the spine, exercising the core increases a good posture. By strengthening a person’s lower back, a person also supports his whole body.
A person must remember that weak muscles in the core contribute to the tearing and wearing the spine. Having weak core muscles adds to the pressure that causes a person’s slouching, thus damaging more of the spine. This is the reason why maintaining a strong core also means maintaining a good posture.
Suppose a person cannot perform core exercises due to different illnesses or any reason. In that case, it is recommended to look up core chiropractic care or treatments because it helps maintain a strong core and adjust misalignment in a person’s spine.
Everyday functions are more comfortable and painless with a strong core.
This might not sound unreal to most people but having a strong core significantly impacts daily routines more efficiently. A person’s ability in bending down to wear his shoes, getting a book from the top of the shelf, sitting in a chair properly for long hours without feeling numbness, looking behind, dressing up or taking a bath, or even just standing very still dramatically relies on the strength of the cores because a motion, does not matter where it begins, flows all over the body through the adjoining links of these chain movements, which is a person’s core.
Strong core for improved athletic performance
Core exercises significantly impact a person’s athletic performance because it provides balance and stability, prevents injuries, and helps improve a person’s range of motion. Just as with the posture, when a person stays in the same position for a prolonged period, the muscles and joints tend to spasm and feel numb. With regular core exercises, the joints and muscles are loosened, relaxed, and more flexible. Some studies show that it is essential for athletes to maintain strong core muscles because it lessens fatigues, injuries and provides more endurance. A person is at high risk of impaired blood flow and cartilage breaking down prematurely when they have tight and unrelaxed joints and muscles. To prevent low flexibility and ensure a wide range of improved movements, a person must strengthen their core.
Core exercises are standalone fitness goals.
No matter what exercise a person is performing, as long as it involves using his abdomens and back muscles in an organized process is considered a core exercise. Unlike exercises in your arms or legs, strengthening a person’s core does not involve or require any specific equipment or membership at the gym. However, it does not mean that a person cannot be creative and add some specialized equipment to strengthen their core muscles. Take using free weights. For example, a person can utilize these weights to maintain a stable trunk and strengthen his body’s core and several other muscles.
A strong core is a sexy body.
Although this should not be the priority of why a person should maintain a strong core, it is a strong motivator. Seeing yourself look so good with toned muscles makes up for all the hard work you have put through in strengthening your core. Aside from having a strong core that supports your body in its physical movement, it is also rewarding to see a thinner, taller, more robust, and most especially more confident version of you.
These are just some of the benefits of having the core muscles strengthened and improved; however, a person must also understand the totality of having your core muscles strengthened. It involves understanding the most common myths and misconceptions in performing core exercises.
Having flat abs does not only mean core exercises.
Although core exercises are essential to tone the muscles in a person’s core, it does not solely revolve around that. No matter how a person tones and strengthens his core area, he should also watch what he eats if he wants to get flat abs. There is a portion of a person’s abs that are hidden under a natural layer of fats. This only signifies that to flatten a person’s abs, he needs to note what he eats and make sure he intake food that will reduce his body fat. The formula for toned abs is exercising plus eating correctly and eating healthy foods only. This means that a person must eliminate processed foods and make sure that the food eaten is fiber-enriched.
Sit-ups and crunches do not equate to great abs.
Ben Greenfield, a writer at Huffington Post, said that crunches done to tone a person’s core muscles are inefficient, ineffective, and also harmful to a person’s spine and back after a long period. A person toning and strengthening his core muscles must remember that, as stated above, his core is the body’s primary stabilizer and the center of force transfer. This only means that instead of doing crunches, sit-ups, or back extensions, you should add other exercises that include compound movements such as overhead squats, pushups, and deadlifts.
So, what are the best exercises for a person’s core to strengthen and tone it? Here are some of the joint exercises that even a novice can perform, with a set of detailed instructions.
Standard Low Plank
This exercise is considered one of the best practices that a person can perform to strengthen his core. The plank helps in building isometric strength and helps in toning and sculpting a person’s waistline. This mainly targets all the muscles around the core.
In performing this kind of exercise, remember to keep breathing controlled and slow. It is also essential to keep a straight line from the head to the toes.
– On the floor, assume a pushup position
– Bend elbows at a 90-degree angle, and rest weight on the forearms. Remember to keep elbows directly under the shoulders, and the body must maintain a straight line starting from the head to the toes.
– Hold this position for at least two minutes to as long as possible, and remember not to allow hips to rise and sink.
Tips to remember: There are times that the most straightforward exercise like the plank, can be so painful and hard for some people. Although it is normal to feel a little sore from the workout, it is not normal for people to be unable to move after performing the exercise. If this happens, it is advised to have yourself checked immediately. There are some cases that you need a specialist to be able to improve your core strength. You can always call your local doctor, physical therapist, or have yourself checked in with a local core chiropractic treatment.
Standing Bicycle Crunches
The standing bicycle crunches target mainly the rotational trunk and obliques muscles. This exercise helps in improving a person’s coordination reflexes and balance. This exercise is performed while standing, which decreases the risk of having lower back injuries and neck strains.
In doing this exercise, make sure that the abs are tight on the entire activity duration. The standing bicycle crunches must also be done at a controlled pace and a slow manner because the slower the exercise, the harder the abs are working.
– Stand straight and keep feet in a shoulder-width distance and keep toes pointing forward
– Place fingertips at the back of the neck with the elbows pointing to the sides while making sure it is in line with shoulders. Inhale, then tighten the core.
– Raise the right knee upward across the body to the chest and simultaneously twist the torso to the right. Remember to use different sides of arms and legs. Use the left arm in raising the right leg and vice versa.
Tips to remember:
Do the exercise with your hand against a wall to properly crunch the muscles.
This kind of exercise targets a person’s abdominal muscle by crunching it. This helps strengthen a person’s core muscles while also reducing the risk of neck pains or injury.
– Lie flat on back with arms on the side and palms facing down.
– Keep legs hovering in the air at a 90-degree angle and keep core tight.
– Keep the back flat on the mat and slowly lower the right leg until the toes hover above the floor. Do the same procedure on the left leg
Tips to remember: you can modify the exercise by tapping each toe to the ground instead of hovering it above the ground.
You can learn more about core chiropractic exercises and practices from Dr. Jason Kistler here at Align Chiropractic. Visit us often for helpful tips and information!