Many people used this 2 words ‘core’ and ‘abdominals’ interchangeably and thinking that it is the same! Core muscles are not just a nice 6 pack, or a strong toned abds. These 6 pack abdominals are just a part of the core muscles.
What core muscles comprises of?
Core muscles are mainly from by a group of muscles includes the rectus abdominis, erector spinae, multifidus, external and internal obliques,transverse abdominis, pelvic floor muscles, hip flexor, gluteus muscles and hip adductors. It help to stabilise the spine, pelvic and shoulder girdle.
What happens if core muscles are weak?
- Poor posture
Abdomen and lower back muscles work as a couple to maintain good posture, and maintain a healthy spine. If there is weakness of core muscles, it will result in upper back and shoulders may become mal-alignment causes to slumped forward.
- Lower back pain
It is another good sign of weakness in core muscles. When your core muscles are not strong, this may cause the curvature of the spine to change in shape.
Slightly change in the curvature of the spine, such as kyphosis (hunched back), scoliosis may indirectly cause more pressure on the vertebras, joints and disc, as well to the muscles, tendon and ligaments.
- Weak Arms/ Legs
A weakness in core muscles also may indicate a weakness in arms or legs. Every time when you move your arm or leg, your core muscles is activated and acts as a platform for transfer of energy from trunk through your limbs. A simple task such as lifting of object or throwing a ball requires the stability of your core muscles.
Benefits of having a GOOD strength of core muscles
- Improve performance at work, sports and daily activities
- Improve in posture and confidence
- Improve in balance and stability
- Less risk of falls and injuries
- More energy, less fatigue
- Decrease neck, back, shoulder pain
How to know if I have a Weak Core Muscles?
The plank is a true measure of core stability and muscular endurance.
- Hold plank position for as long as possible
- Stop timer when hips sag or raise
- 0-30 seconds: needs improvement
- 30-60 seconds: satisfactory
- 60-90 seconds: good
- 90-120 seconds: excellent
What is the best way to strengthen up your core muscles?
To build a strong core muscles, it is not enough to do just sit ups and crunches. Core activation exercises should work out a group of muscles throughout the torso that cross several joints and work together with stability. Plank, side plank, bridging are a few common core exercises. Clinical Pilates is a good form of exercises focus on strengthening core and stability.