The Importance of Core Strength

Let’s dispel a common exercise myth right away: the purpose of core training is not to get visible abs.

The first thing that comes to mind when you think about core training might be a future six-pack, but the reality is that many of us don’t have the genes for visible ab muscles — and that’s okay! 

Strengthening your core is much more important than being able to show off a flat stomach. 

In this post, we’ll unpack why strengthening your core is essential, how your core supports the rest of your body, and what good core exercises look like.

If you’re curious about why you need core workouts and how your core helps you in everyday life, this one’s for you! 

Your Core Muscles Are More Than Your Abdominals

The common belief is that our abdominal muscles are our core muscles, but they only make up part of the entire muscle group.

It’s essential to think about your core as all the muscles below your ribcage and above your legs. This group includes your abdominals, obliques, lower spinal muscles, and the muscle group around your hip girdle.

Why Is It Important to Strengthen Your Core Muscles?

Now that you know more about the muscles that make up your core, let’s discuss why strengthening those muscles is essential. 

This incredibly dynamic muscle group works together to help balance, support posture, and make it so you can bend at the waist. Strengthing these muscles is beneficial for the following reasons:

A Strong Core Prevents Future Injuries

Back injuries are one of the most common ways to bring your fitness journey to a halt. If you don’t give yourself the proper time to heal, they can turn into chronic issues that can affect your daily life.

Exercising your core can prevent these injuries and keep your back healthy for years to come!

Core Exercises Improve Your Posture

Do you find yourself slouching or hunching over while you sit? If so, it could be a sign that you need more core strength.

When you build up the muscles in your trunk, they will help you straighten your back when standing and sitting to improve your overall posture.

You Will Improve Balance With Increased Core Strength

If you have problems standing on one foot or feel unstable while walking, weakened core muscles could be the culprit.

Improving your core strength will give you a better foundation for balance and help improve your stability while walking, running, or performing functional strength training movements.

The Best Core Exercises Need Proper Form

Let’s talk about form before we get into the best core exercises to build strength. Maintaining proper form is essential to get the most out of your workouts. 

This means holding your body as flat as possible during planks, keeping your head, neck, and hips aligned through every mountain climber, and ensuring your back stays straight while you do kettlebell swings.

When you use the correct form, you prevent potential injuries and train your muscles to build strength where they need it most.

Three Core Exercises to Build Strength (That Aren’t Sit-Ups)

Sit-ups are one of the most common core exercises, but they aren’t the only option to help you build strength (and can cause back and neck issues if your form is off).

That being said, we aren’t opposed to sit-ups. There are just better options out there. Here are three of our favorite core exercises to help you build strength and improve your posture:

1. Dead Bugs

This dynamic movement works most of your core muscles by engaging both your back and abs during the exercise.

Start by lying on your back with your arms and legs in the air (and your legs bent at a 90-degree angle). 

You’ll then simultaneously lower your left arm and right leg until they are parallel to the floor. Then, raise your limbs and alternate the movement on the other side.

2. Flutter Kicks

Flutter kicks engage your lower abdominals and hip muscles to improve your posture and overall balance.

This exercise begins with you lying flat on your back and your legs raised at a 45-degree angle. You will then alternate lifting and lowering your legs to work your core.

3. Glute Bridges

Your glutes are the largest muscles in your body and an essential part of your core. Incorporating bridges into your workout routine will increase glute strength and help with walking and running stability.

When performing a glute bridge, lay on your back with your feet tucked toward your glutes so your knees are in the air. From there, you raise your hips to engage your glutes.

You can do bridges in sets or hold them for an extended period like planks.

We’re Here to Help You Build Core Strength at FBBC

Our group classes and individualized fitness training will help you increase your core strength and achieve your exercise goals! Visit a location near you to learn why people call our workouts ‘The Best 30 Minutes of Your Day.’

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