FITNESS TIPS for improving Core Stability
Your core is made up of many muscles including your rectus abdominis (commonly known as the ‘six-pack’), your internal and external obliques (the muscles at the side of the body that allow rotation), your erector spinae (muscles that run up either side of the spine) and your gluteals (bum muscles). Here are some fitness tips for improving core stability.
It is important to work all of these muscles in your fitness regime as working one more than the other causes a core imbalance. Essentially, this is when one set of muscles is stronger than the opposing set. For example, one of the major reasons for back pain is when the stomach muscles are stronger than the back muscles, causing strain on the lower back.
Other core stability muscles like the lumbar multifidis, pelvic floor muscles and the transverse abdominis encircle the spine ensuring its support and making them intimately involved in spinal stabilization. The strengthening of these muscles leads to a superior neuromuscular system and improved spinal support.
Having a strong core is not just important for athletes and sports people. Core stability makes movement easier and improves posture, thus discouraging pain in other parts of the body. It also helps to prevent injury because it allows you better control over your limbs. The gym is a great place to work all these muscle groups.
“In a healthy spine there is activation of deep core muscles in stabilization of the trunk before the body moves. This interaction between the deep core muscles and the nervous system plays a role in the proprioceptive feedback sent to the brain as we perform activities and undergo our normal activities.” (Schwann, 2010)
Core stability is especially important when training and in the gym. Performing exercises when your posture is incorrect can cause serious damage to your spine, particularly if the exercise uses heavy weights (squats, deadlifts, etc) or if you are doing a large number of repetitions.
Fitness tips: When performing exercises always make sure that you are using correct technique, keep your back flat so that you aren’t arching, and engage your core. If you do not know how to engage your core brace as if somebody is going to punch you in the stomach. May sound strange but it works!
Last thing; always include at least 10minutes of core work at the end of a workout. Try to work all the core muscles.
For more fitness tips for improving core stability or if you want any advice on which core exercises are best for you or which ones are the most effective come and talk to a member of the Fitness Team.