Core

The short answer is yes.

Many people starting a fitness program will jump in and learn to lift before the core is strong. If they lack the strength to perform these lifts correctly, their bad habits could lead to form compensation due to the lack of strength in their midsection. Prioritizing the midsection should be number one because everything else branches off from that. According to Harvard Medical School, the core can be considered the central link in a chain of muscles connecting your upper and lower body.

Strong midsection muscles are also crucial for athletes, such as runners, because weak core muscles can lead to more exhaustion, lower endurance levels, and injuries. Weak core muscles lead to poor posture, low back pain, and muscle injuries. In fact, a focus on strengthening muscles in the core may also help improve back pain.

Neglecting the core increases your risk of injury, especially when performing powerful motions with the body.

What is your “core” anyway?

Typically, the muscles of the torso are the ones to come to mind when you think of your core, but they actually extend down into your legs. Even your hamstrings, which extend down the backs of your thighs, and your glutes — together known as the hip extensors — are considered core muscles.

Major muscles included are the pelvic floor muscles, transversus abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae (sacrospinalis) especially the longissimus thoracis, and the diaphragm. … Minor core muscles include the latissimus dorsi, gluteus maximus, and trapezius.

What exercises can be done for core?

According to Mayo Clinic, any exercise that involves the use of your abdominal and back muscles in coordinated fashion counts as a core exercise.

Planks, bird dogs, crunches, and hip bridges are all great exercises to work into your routine.

Here’s a Medicine ball crunch to Hip Bridge exercise to try. Check out the video for the extra challenge of balancing your heels on medicine ball!

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