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Tuesday, June 9

Ain't It a Shame (Lead Belly)

Wellness Wednesday : Getting to the Core

After a few kids and multiple abdominal surgeries, I know that my abs are never going to look like the ones above.  However, that's no reason to give up on a strong core!  The core doesn't just include abs, but your hips and glutes as well, and it is responsible for much more than you realize...just wrench your back one good time, and you will quickly learn that every movement is tied to your core muscles.  They make it possible to stand upright and move on two feet, and help control movements, transfer energy, shift body weight and move in any direction. A strong core distributes the stresses of weight-bearing and protects the back. 

  • A Strong Core Reduces Back Pain
    Abdominals get all the credit for protecting the back and being the foundation of strength, but they are only a small part of what makes up the core. In fact, it is weak and unbalanced core muscles that are linked to low back pain. Weak core muscles result in a loss of the appropriate lumbar curve and a swayback posture. Stronger, balanced core muscles help maintain appropriate posture and reduce strain on the spine.
  • A Strong Core Improves Athletic Performance
    Because the muscles of the trunk and torso stabilize the spine from the pelvis to the neck and shoulder, they allow the transfer of power to the arms and legs. All powerful movements originate from the center of the body out, and never from the limbs alone. Before any powerful, rapid muscle contractions can occur in the extremities, the spine must be solid and stable and the more stable the core, the most powerful the extremities can contract.
  • A Strong Core Improves Postural Imbalances
    Training the muscles of the core helps correct postural imbalances that can lead to injuries. The biggest benefit of core training is to develop functional fitness; the type of fitness that is essential to daily living and regular activities.

What Are the Best Core Exercises?

Core exercises are most effective when they engage many muscles throughout the torso that cross several joints and work together to coordinate stability. Core muscles need to work as a unit, contract at the same time, across joints in order to stabilize the spine. Some of the best core exercises are simple body weight exercises, including the following.

Take it to the Next Level

Complete the 30-Day Ab Challenge.  Be sure to do a before and after photo!

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