The dream of a six pack is probably a great motivation to start a core workout routine, but a rocking, beach-worthy body isn’t the only reason why you should work your core every day. Think of your core as the central link between your upper and your lower body and whether you are mopping the floor or hitting a tennis ball, almost every single movement either originates in the core or moves through it.
The word ‘core’ is being thrown around a lot in the fitness world and many think that the core only refers to your washboard abs. Reality is though that the abdominals are only a fraction of your core muscles and while working your abs does help to strengthen your core, there is more to a core workout than just sit-ups and crunches. Keep in mind, the major core muscles include:
* Rectus Abdominus
* Internal & External Obliques
* Transversus Abdominis
* Quadratus Lumborum
* Erector Spinae
* Latissimus Dorsi
* Pelvic Floor
* Gluteus Maximus, Medius and Minimus
A solid core is the foundation for your body and creating a strong, functional core is all about stabilization, power and strength. Challenging your core daily doesn’t just improve balance and posture, it also allows you to optimize your movements for everyday tasks and improves your athletic performance.
You wanna know more? Here are our TOP 7 benefits of a daily core workout that will make you want to grab your mat immediately.
#1 IMPROVE ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
Whether you play football, baseball, soccer or tennis, all those sports need tremendous force from the limbs and this force comes from the core. Having a strong core makes you a better athlete in just about any speed or strength sport because a strong core allows you to transfer more power to your limbs, which means you can push harder, jump higher and run faster. And on top of that, a strong, functional core helps improve everyday movements, so you can pick up your groceries, tie your shoes or clean your house with more ease.
#2 LOWER RISK OF INJURY
Particularly the lower back can sometimes be the source of debilitating pain, but if you develop resilient, well-balanced core muscles, you can prevent and control lower back pain. Core strength and stability means that you work the deeper muscles and everything else falls into place. With that you can improve your overall fitness and are less prone to injuries. Keep in mind, almost all movements originate or move through the core, so a rock-solid center will help you that your movements are strong and pain-free.
#3 IMPROVE POSTURE
The way we stand and sit has a huge impact on how we feel on a daily basis. If you develop a strong core, you are much more likely to carry yourself with confidence and stand tall in an upright posture that exudes strength and control. Keep in mind, a poor posture, where you are slumped over, looks defeated and weak, but when you strengthen your core by building the abdominal wall, strengthening the lower back and opening the hip flexors, you will be naturally in a better posture and at the same time you will feel a whole lot better.
#4 BOOST BALANCE
Like we’ve just seen, a strong core helps us to develop better posture, but on top of that, a strong core helps us to keep our torso in a more stable position when we move, whether we are doing chores or playing sports. With that you boost balance, improve your movement efficiency and avoid injuries by unnecessary stumbles. How is your balance? Test it by standing on one leg with your arms extended out to the side. If you make it past 60 seconds, your balance is A-Ok.
#5 INCREASE AGILITY
A strong core in combination with instability exercises like single-leg moves or exercises that use TRX bands or Bosu balls help you to increase agility. A recent study showed that those who perform the just described exercise significantly outperformed those who followed a more traditional strength training program. So if you want to move like a ninja, strengthen your core with more intense and challenging core exercises to take your body to the next level. Your agility will go through the roof.
#6 BREATHE BETTER
Breath work and core training go hand in hand. If you develop a stronger breathing practice by consciously incorporating the intercostal muscles and the diaphragm, it will automatically translate into a stronger core. But it works the other way around, too. If you develop a stronger core, breathing will become a lot easier because you have better posture and allow the organs and diaphragm to sit in their proper position and with that inhalations and exhalations become fuller, deeper and stronger.
#7 LIVE LONGER
If you incorporate a daily core workout into your routine and choose the right exercises at the right intensity and frequency while combining this with a healthy, well-balanced nutrition plan, you will be able to reduce your waist size, which is a huge factor in long-term health. Keep in mind, every 2-inch increase in your waist leads to a 7% increase in death risk. So work your core and make sure that you live longer and healthier.
The core doesn’t just facilitate movement, it also houses our central nervous system and inner organs and with that strengthening the core helps you in just about everything you do. So besides pursuing a six-pack, consider the above all-around benefits for your life and include a core workout daily.
A STRONG CORE ISN’T JUST FOR LOOKS — IT BENEFITS YOU IN A NUMBER OF WAYS
Joschi & Monika