Common problems such as lower back pain, poor posture, and instability can have a significant impact on our daily lives. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to these issues: focusing on strengthening your core muscles. A strong core can not only alleviate these problems, but also improve your overall fitness and athletic performance.
In this article, we’ll dive into the best core exercises and tools to help you overcome these common issues and achieve a stronger, healthier body.
Why Is Training Your Core Muscles Important?
Your core muscles are the group of muscles that make up your trunk, including your abdominals, back muscles, and hip muscles. These muscles play a vital role in your overall health and fitness.
They are responsible for providing stability and support to your spine, pelvis, and hips. Your core muscles also play a critical role in your everyday movements such as bending, twisting, and lifting.
Benefits of Training Core Muscles
Improved Posture and Balance
Training your core muscles can help improve not just your posture but your balance as well. Strong core muscles help keep your spine in a neutral position, reducing the strain on your back muscles. When your core muscles are weak, your body compensates by overusing other muscles to maintain balance, leading to poor posture and balance.
Reduced Risk of Injury
A strong core can help prevent injury, especially in the lower back. When your core muscles are weak, your body is more prone to injuries such as strains and sprains.
Strengthening your core muscles can also help reduce your risk of falling, which is especially important in older adults.
Enhanced Athletic Performance
A strong core can help you improve your athletic performance whether you’re a professional athlete or a weekend warrior. It can also help you maintain proper form during exercise, reducing the risk of injury.
Better Everyday Movement and Function
Strong core muscles can help improve your everyday movement and function. Activities such as walking, bending, and twisting become more effortless when your core muscles are strong. A strong core can also help you perform daily tasks, such as carrying groceries, with greater ease.
Best Core Exercises
The plank is a really good core exercise. It works your rectus abdominis and transverse abdominis. It also improves your erector spinae.
Start in a push-up position. Check that your forearms are flat and steady on the ground. Make sure that your body in a straight line from your head to your feet.
Bird dogs target the erector spinae, glutes, and core muscles.
Start on your hands and knees. Lift your right arm and make sure that your left leg is straight out in front of you. Keep this position for a few seconds before switching sides.
Hip bridges target the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back muscles.
Lie on your back. Make sure that your knees bent and your feet are flat on the ground. Lift your hips off the ground, squeezing your glutes at the top, and then lower back down.
The Hollow Body Hold
The hollow body hold targets the transverse abdominis and the erector spinae.
Lie on your back with your arms and legs straight out in front of you. Lift your arms and legs off the ground, keeping your lower back pressed into the floor.
The reverse crunch targets the lower abs.
Lie on your back. Ensure that your knees are bent and and that your feet are flat on the ground. Lift your feet off the ground and bring your knees towards your chest, curling your hips off the ground.
Tools that Can Help Improve Core Strength
Using a stability ball requires your core muscles to engage to maintain balance, making your workouts more challenging and effective. You can use them for different exercises, like bridges, planks, and crunches.
Resistance bands are a portable and versatile tool for improving core strength. They can be used for a variety of exercises, including side bends, twists, and leg raises. Resistance bands can provide added resistance to your workouts, making them more challenging and effective.
Electrical Muscle Stimulator (EMS Machine)
An EMS machine is a device that sends electrical impulses to your muscles, causing them to contract. Using one can help improve your core strength by stimulating the core muscles and increasing their activation while you’re doing your exercise.
An ab wheel is a simple yet effective tool for improving core strength. It targets the rectus abdominis and the transverse abdominis.
To use an ab wheel, start on your hands and knees with the wheel in front of you. Roll the wheel forward as far as you can while keeping your core engaged, and then roll back to the starting position.
A yoga mat is an essential tool for any core workout. It provides a stable and comfortable surface for your exercises and can help prevent injuries such as knee pain.
A yoga mat can also be used for other exercises such as planks and bridges.
A massage gun delivers percussive therapy to your muscles. Using it on your core muscles can help increase blood flow, reduce muscle soreness, and improve range of motion. You can use it before or after your core workout to enhance your results and reduce the risk of injury.
Training your core muscles is essential for overall health and fitness. Strong core muscles can improve your posture and balance, reduce the risk of injury, enhance athletic performance, and improve everyday movement and function.
Incorporating core exercises into your workout routine and using tools such as stability balls, resistance bands, EMS machines, massage guns, ab wheels, and yoga mats can help you achieve a stronger core and enhance your results. Start incorporating these exercises and tools into your workouts and feel the difference in your core strength and overall fitness.
I do plank everyday and now my hip size is 59 cm. I am very proud of it.
I practice plank and hip bridge every day