Did you know that your core gives your body the most strength?
Having difficulties with your balance and unsure of the reason why? Constantly getting back pain after your workouts? We share some insights on strengthening your core muscles to avoid injuries!
The core of our body refers to the balance (aka centre of gravity) which we use to stabilise ourselves when performing any action, such as exercising, stretching or even walking.~
Having a strong and stable core helps to:
- Reduce impact on our spine and back
- Improve sporting performance through easier transfer of force throughout our upper and lower body (which is vital for any form of exercise)
Simply get into a push-up or plant position. Keep in mind to put your weight on your forearms and not your hands. Make sure that your body is straight and your back is not arched to keep the spine neutral. Hold this position as long as possible. Stop counting each time your hips drop or your knees touch the floor.
Here’s a simple rule of thumb to evaluate how to rate your core strength:~
- Less than 30 seconds: Poor~
- 30 seconds to 1 minute: Average~
- 1 to 2 minutes: Good~
- More than 2 minutes: Excellent
The main idea behind improving your core strength is to connect and strengthen both the superficial and deep core muscles in your body. Some of the muscle groups to target when training for your core strength are the hips, torsos and shoulders. However, this doesn’t mean that you can neglect other muscle groups as they all work together!
You can start by doing 3 sets of isometric exercises with breaks in between. These are some simple exercises which you can integrate into your workouts, such as planks, hip thrusts, push-ups, squats, pull-ups and abs exercises. By adding these exercises into your routine, you are able to build your strength, which allows you to accomplish other exercises with more force over time.
To increase the difficulty level, you can add variations to the exercises by using weights, medicine balls and balance boards. Another way to increase your workout difficulty without accessories is to use your body. For example, instead of doing planks with both hands, you can do the plank using one hand instead, before alternating to the other hand.
In addition to these core exercises, make sure to keep a balanced diet, as nutrition is even more important than working out itself. Keep in mind that core muscles are built for endurance and not strength, so do increase the number of reps for your exercises as your core strength improves. You may also like to work on some cardio exercises instead of only strength exercises to keep your body balanced. Maintaining a neutral spine is also important during your workout so that you don’t injure yourself!