Why Do We Need a Strong Core?

why we need a strong core“The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning develops the body uniformly, corrects posture, restores vitality, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit.”

 

The term, core strength, has become quite common in recommendations from health and fitness professionals. What does this mean? I think most of us understand the word core- core of a apple, core of the matter, we understand it is the center. But what exactly is the center of our body and why does it matter? Why do we need a strong core?

The core relates to the musculature of the trunk. The core muscles of the body are the deep muscles of the back, abdomen, and pelvic floor. These are the muscles we rely on for support of the back to keep it healthy, to develop good posture and create efficient, balanced movement patterns. When we are equipped with a strong core, the rest of muscles and joints are free to do their jobs and not take the extra load which could leave the body vulnerable to injury.

See how a strong core is needed for most everything we do:

  • Every Day Acts: bending down, picking things up, walking up stairs, turning and twisting. All of these rely on a strong core and may not be noticeable until they become difficult or painful
  • On the Job Tasks: Jobs that rely on physical movements, lifting, turning, standing- but also sitting. Sitting at a desk all day uses your core to maintain good posture and alignment. Computer work can create bad posture habits and creating a sore and stiff back.
  • A Healthy Back: Low back pain affects four out of five Americans at some point in their lives. It may be prevented by exercises that promote well balanced, resilient core muscles.
  • Sports and other Pleasurable activities: Golfing, tennis or other racquet sports, biking, running, swimming, baseball, volleyball, kayaking, rowing and many other athletic activities are powered by a strong core.
  • Housework, Fix-it work, and Gardening: Bending, lifting twisting, carrying, hammering, reaching overhead- simple chores like vacuuming, mopping and dusting are all acts that spring from or rely on the core.
  • Balance and Stability: Your core stabilizes your body, allowing you to move in any direction, even on unstable surfaces or even standing still. Having this strength will lessen risks of falling.
  • Good Posture: Weak core muscles contribute to slouching. Good posture trims your figure and projects confidence. Most important- it lessens wear and tear on the spine and allows you to breath deeply.

Weak or unbalanced core muscles, as you can see, can affect most movements. The importance of developing these core muscles is essential to our physical health, injury prevention and over all well being.

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