Core strength is absolutely important, but it goes so much further than simply doing hundreds of crunches. Today I'll break down all you need to know about core strength! We'll cover what the core is, why core strength is important along with how to strengthen it.
What is the core?
The core is not just your abdominals. The core includes the pelvic floor muscles, transverses adbominis (deep core muscles), rectus abdominis (the 6 pack muslces), internal and external obliques (side abs), erector spinae (muscles around your spine) and diaphragm (muscled below lungs and heart). It also includes the latissimus dorsi (lats are on either side of the back from shoulder to hip), gluteus maximus (glute/butt muscles) and trapezius (traps connect around the upper back, shoulder and neck).
Why is core strength important?
A strong core helps you do activities easier. These could be physical activities like playing tennis or riding a bike, or common life activities like carrying in groceries or picking up your kids. Core strength helps to support your muscles, especially your back. Weak abdominal muscles can leave us more susceptible to low back pain or injury. In contrast, strong abdominal muscles can help protect the back.
How do we strengthen our entire core?
Since the core includes so many different muscles groups, it's important to train in many ways. This is beyond just sit ups. Sit ups focus on one area of the core - the rectus abdominis. Include a variety of core exercises, like planks, side plants, glute bridges and alternating bird dog. Think about engaging your core properly during all exercise as well. The core is working during a squat and push up too.
If you're looking for a quick core workout, check out the glutes + core workout in the Super Mama Society! 9 MINUTE GLUTES AND CORE WORKOUT