A couple of weeks ago we talked about the benefits of ab workouts and promised a blog post the following week about core workouts. Well that was a couple of weeks ago (sorry about that...) but here it is!
Question: If I do ab exercises, aren't I already working out my core?
Answer: Yes and no.
Your core is made up of your abdominals, lower back, and hips, and is the foundation for all other movement. These muscles work together to support and stabilize the spine, pelvis, and shoulder, and provide a solid base of support. The ability to stand and walk on two feet, shift body weight, move in any direction, and control our movements, is all made possible by our core muscles.
If you just strengthen your abdominals but neglect your lower back and surrounding muscles, you're core is likely not as strong as it needs to be.
How Strong is my Core?
Brian Mackenzie, a senior athletics coach with UK Athletics, designed a simple test to assess one's core strength. Give it a shot and see how you fare!
Core Muscle Strength and Stability Test (About.com)
Great, So How Do I Strengthen my Core?
There are many exercises to strengthen the core, and they really don't require much (or any) equipment, and very little time. We've included a short list below with links to get you started:
Developing a strong core will lessen back pain, improve posture and balance, improve performance in virtually all sports, and much much more. For more information and exercises, check out the source below.