One of the most important factors in proper and healthy posture, whether you’re engaging in physical activity or sitting at your desk, is strong core muscles.
Why? It’s simple, really.
Your core muscles are what actually enable you to sit, stand, and move around. Without them, you’d have constant back pain, wouldn’t be able to sit comfortably, and likely wouldn’t be able to do much at the gym.
This week, we’ve got a quick and easy core workout to help keep your midsection strong. Check it out!
Your Core & Why Strength is Important
What’s the first thing you think of when you hear “core”? I’m willing to bet that the answer for most people is “abs.” While your abdominal muscles are definitely a part of your core, they’re definitely not the only muscles there.
Your core is made up of many different muscles that run from your shoulders all the way down to your hips, but there are six commonly identified groups.
Core Muscle Groups & What They Do for You
1. Erector spinae and multifidus are the muscles that start at your neck and span the length of your back. They’re also the muscles that help keep your back straight and that allow you to turn to the side.
2. Internal and external obliques are the muscles that wrap around the front of your abdomen (and are sometimes called same-side rotators). These muscles play a role in the movements that occur in the areas of the abdomen and thorax (commonly called the trunk), as well as movements toward the same or opposite sides of your body.
3. Transverse abdominis is the deepest muscle group near your waist and wraps around your spine. They offer support, stability and protection.
4. Rectus abdominis is everyone’s favorite muscle group at the front of your abdomen. These are the muscles that give the “six-pack” appearance when toned and developed.
5. Gluteus are found on the sides and back of your hips, and on your upper thighs. These are the muscles that help you stand after you’ve been sitting. They also help you climb stairs.
6. Hip flexors and hip adductor are found in front of your pelvis and upper thigh, and run to your medial thigh. These muscles help you with movements like lifting your thigh toward your stomach and pulling your thighs together.
What a Strong Core Does for Your Health
Many people may not realize it, but nagging lower back pain (in a number of cases) is the result of weak core muscles. However, you should always check with your healthcare provider if you’re experiencing back pain.
Strong core muscles are key to helping to maintain proper lumbar curve, as well as good posture. If you have a weak core, your posture suffers and your lumbar curve does, too. As a result, there’s a better chance you’ll develop lower back pain.
Keeping your core strong and healthy has other benefits as well. “It is vital to have a stable core foundation when transferring energy and power to your arms and legs if you wish to avoid energy” (Source). You might also experience a good boost in stamina, which can carry over into other areas of your life, too.
This Week’s Workout
This simple core circuit comes from MyFitnessPal and has five movements. It might seem easy, but you’ll do each exercise for 40 seconds, resting for 20 seconds in between each exercise. And you’ll complete the entire circuit three full times.
If you’d like, you can follow along with the video below:
What else are you doing to exercise your core muscles? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
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