When it comes to overall physical wellness and movement, strengthening your core can drastically improve health and range of motion. You’ve heard everyone talk about building a strong core, but what is the “core” exactly? The core is a series of muscles including your abs, back muscles, pelvis and deep internal muscle structure. If you think of your body as a tree, the core would be classified as the trunk. Making sure the trunk is in optimal condition is vital to the health and beauty of the tree.
How Do I Choose the Best Core Exercises?
The best core exercises will be those that activate several muscle groups at once. There are many exercises that can benefit specific core muscles. Most people imagine torturous ab workouts to build core muscles. However, there are simple moves to activate the entire core at once. By doing these moves twice a day, you will see and feel results quickly.
The exercise known as “Plank Pose” is one of the best core strengthening exercises to activate multiple muscle groups. Lie on the floor on your stomach, and press the tips of your toes into the ground. Place your forearms and elbows into the floor, which your elbows aligning with your shoulders. Press up into push up pose, holding the pose while fully engaging abs, gluts and back muscles. Hold for as long as you can, adding seconds with each daily practice.
For “The Bridge”, lie on the floor on your back. Bend your knees, with your feel on the floor, bringing your heels in close to your bottom. Press up through your feet, raising your belly into the air, with weight moving into your shoulders. Be sure to fully activate abs, gluts and lower back muscles as you move into the pose and hold. Try to hold the posture for at least 30 seconds. Three rounds with each practice will allow strong benefit.
For “Superman”, lie on the floor on your stomach. Extend your arms overhead, extending out as far as you can. Gradually lift your head, shoulders and upper body, at the same time lifting feet, shins, legs and lower thighs. When you have extended as far as you can, hold the pose for as long as you can, adding seconds with each daily practice. For an added challenge, bend to either side to strengthen side abdominal muscles, as well.
Closing Thoughts from Dr. Tali
A strong core is important for spinal health and supports motion for all other muscles in the body. In improving your core, begin where you are. Listen to your body and start with a commitment to practicing these exercises daily in the morning and evening. Gradual Progression is a must. You will see your fitness level improve and positive changes in your body.
Tali Pariser D.C.