With your core acting as the support system for your body, it makes good sense to pay a lot of attention to it. Your abdominals, which help to make up your core, help you in almost everything you do, whether it be getting out of bed every morning, standing around, helping you lift objects and much, much more. The core isn’t just made up of abs, though, as some may believe – pelvic floor muscles, back muscles helping to stabilise your spine, and your diaphragm are also helping you to do all of these important movements throughout the day. In this article we take a look at why you should start paying extra special attention to this muscle group.
A little bit of background on your core
The muscles in your core completely surround and support your spine and pelvis and act as the vital connection between your upper and lower body. In cases where these muscles fail, such as they become loose or weakened after pregnancy, an abdominoplasty will be necessary to ensure proper muscle function is possible once more. First, a little bit of background on this set of muscles: the deepest layer of abdominal muscles are called the transverse abdominis, and it is these muscles that stabilise your spine and pelvis. For this reason, they are often considered the most important muscles in your core. Controlling how you bend from side to side and rotate are two layers of oblique muscles. The rectus abdominis is what people refer to as the six-pack, and runs vertically in the front of your abdomen. This muscle controls the flexing of your body forward. It’s easy to see how many movements each of these muscle groups is thus responsible for, and why taking care of them as a whole can ensure better flexibility (and overall health), regardless of whether you’re running around all day or simply sitting at a desk.
How core muscles help
Before you engage in an activity that requires support of the core, this network of muscles activates in order to support the incoming load. This way, your body is ready for stress before it actually experiences it in order to prevent any potential damage. For those with poor core strength, the body will have to compensate with other muscles in order to support the load – muscles that weren’t designed to do such a thing. Because these muscles are introduced as an emergency alternative, there is much greater risk of doing both short-term and long-term damage. Core muscles are also important even in activities where they are not the targeted muscle – for example, in a set of push-ups, the core muscles will be used to stabilise your body while your body is lowered. Without good core support, your body will likely sagas you perform the exercise and be damaged in some capacity if the exercise is repeated too much.
More than just a six-pack
It should be clear now that those who work to improve their core are not just working to get a great six-pack (although there’s no doubt that some do). Instead, working towards strengthening these muscles can not only improve basic exercises, but ensure daily activities are much easier and lead to less issues in the long-term, such as poor posture. All it takes is a few planks every now and then to reap the benefits, so make sure to make the time!