Why Core Strength Matters and How to Maintain It
Core strength is integral to your well-being - not only is it important for your posture, but it’s essential for avoiding injury, performing any type of physical activity, and even for things as simple as getting out of a chair, vacuuming, or pulling up weeds. Your core is made up of the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips, and stomach. If you’re someone who sits at a desk all day, or just doesn’t move much, you may want to consider a routine to get these muscles strengthened - even if you’re not still all day, it’s good to keep these areas active.
The muscles that make up your core include the erector spinae, rectus abdominis, obliques,
multifidus, pelvic floor, diaphragm, glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors, and hip adductors. Working these areas will ensure that your core is strong.
Signs of a weak core can include lower back and knee pain, or difficulty performing simple tasks like yard work and hanging laundry. It’s important to engage your core and keep it strong. Here are a few simple yet effective exercises to strengthen these areas and keep you in shape.
Start face down with your forearms and toes holding you up in the plank position. Engage your abdominal muscles pulling your stomach toward your spine while keeping your body straight. Hold this position for 10 seconds and relax. Over time you can work your way up in 10 second increments to continue challenging yourself. And be sure not to arch your back or let your body sag!
Sitting Bicycle Crunch
Lay back with your knees slightly bent then alternate bringing your right knee up towards your left elbow then your left knee up towards your right elbow - almost like riding a bicycle. Try not to twist your body too much. This will provide a great workout for your abs and hips.
Lay down on your back with your arms at your side and your feet flat on the floor - meaning your knees are bent and up in the air. Keep your hands on the floor, lift your hips up and squeeze your glutes. Repeat this motion for 10 reps, rest, and repeat.
Lay on your back with your legs stretched out flat in front of you. Lift your legs straight up until they’re at a 90-degree angle, then lower them until they’re almost touching the ground, and repeat! This will work your abs and back.
Starting with these four zero-equipment workouts is a sure way to strengthen your core and keep yourself fit and healthy. Be sure to follow each workout with a protein shake (consider JBN’s Confidence™ Whey Isolate or Growtein™ Lean Mass Gainer) for maximum recovery, and stick to a regular routine.
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