The term ‘core strength’ gets thrown around a lot in the fitness industry, but many of us don’t understand what core strength really is or what the benefits of core strength really are. (And, spoiler alert, it’s way more important than you might realise…)
You might be thinking your core is your abs and while that’s not *entirely* wrong, it also isn’t entirely right either.
So, if a toned stomach isn’t what core strength is all about, then what does the term mean? And what are the benefits of core strength I reckon you’re going to want to start paying attention to? Let’s explore.
What does core strength really mean?
Your core makes up your entire torso, from your sternum to your pubic bone. It includes a lot of large muscles that work to keep you stable and upright.
Almost every single movement your body makes involves your core, so weak, inflexible or unbalanced core muscles can have impact right across your body.
What are the benefits of core strength?
It protects some pretty important stuff
You might’ve noticed that your core doesn’t have a lot of bones. Why? Well, if we had bones running through this part of our body, our movement would be significantly limited and we wouldn’t be able to bend and twist.
Instead, we have muscles that keep all our internal organs protected. These muscles run across our bodies diagonally, from top to bottom and from side to side.
You use it in pretty much every moment the day (and night)
When you bend, twist, extend, or even hold yourself upright, your core is involved. Whether you sit at a desk from nine til 5 or are constantly on the move, having a stronger core will mean fewer aches and pains and allow you to enjoy your everyday life that much more.
It’s essential for avoiding back pain
Back pain can have a big impact on your quality of life. Lucky for us, back pain can be prevented or reduced by building a strong core that supports your spine. No matter your age, it’s never too late.
If you have back pain, it’s probably because your core isn’t strong enough and your spine is overcompensating by taking on more of the load than it can handle.
Did you know slouching is a sign of weak core muscles? A strong core pulls us upright and makes us feel more confident, and reduces wear and tear on our spines.
It improves your athletic ability
No matter how you choose to move your body, pretty much every athletic activity you can think of is powered by your core. Whether you enjoy running, sports, lifting weights or rolling out your yoga mat, your core is an essential part of the process.
When your core is strong your body moves with ease and efficiency, which means you can perform to a higher ability. But when your core isn’t strong enough, injuries tend to happen because you’re putting excessive pressure or strain on a certain part of your body that can’t handle it.