Aside from occasional situps and pushups, many of us ignore our core. Our core muscles are found around the abdomen and make up our torso. This includes the transverse and rectus abdominus – muscles running from just below the sternum to the waist, our lower and outer-middle of the back, and the obliques running down our sides from the ribs to the upper hips.
They will repeatedly say how important it is to have those muscles in the middle of our body be as strong as possible.
You may not have a six-pack, but having strong core muscles is essential. Strong back and abdominal muscles are necessary for lifting a 30-pound child, hitting a tennis ball, or sweeping the floor. The ability to perform those motions originates in your core.
Allowing our core muscles to weaken and become inflexible can take away the power you need to perform everyday tasks. A strong core is necessary for balance and stability, reducing the risk of falls and injuries during sports or household chores. Here are seven reasons you need to strengthen your core:
All the little moves you make throughout the day we tend to take for granted – bending over to tie a shoe, getting up out of a chair, twisting your body to look behind you – all rely on your core muscles. Suppose the core muscles are not taken care of when we become elderly. In that case, this can be a significant reason why we cannot live independently anymore if we can’t manage everyday activities. Being frail leads to being unable to do simple daily tasks such as getting in and out of a bathtub or dressing oneself – both of which require strong core muscles.
Whether you’re seated at a desk job everyday, or have a job with much more physical work, all movements rely on core muscles. Any task involving twisting, lifting, or standing for long periods demands good core muscles. Even a desk job engages the core muscles. Typing, sitting up in a chair, and computer use need a strong back that doesn’t become stiff or sore,, making the job much harder.
Four out of five Americans will suffer from debilitating low back pain at some point in our lives. This can be eliminated by exercising the core muscles. During back pain, core exercises are often prescribed to relieve the pain, along with medications, physical therapy, and other treatments as needed.
Almost all moves we make in our household duties require strong core muscles – vacuuming, mopping, dusting, gardening, climbing a ladder or carrying groceries.
Strong core muscles are necessary for powering certain sports activities. For instance, playing tennis, golfing, biking, running, swimming, basketball, kayaking, rowing, or other athletic activities call for core power and flexibility.
To stabilize your body, your core muscles must be engaged to do so. Take a walk down a rocky road, and you will need those core muscles to balance yourself, lessening the likelihood of falling.
We tend to slouch when our core muscles are weak, resulting in poor posture. Good posture makes you appear slimmer and projects confidence. Standing tall also reduces pressure on the spine, allowing you to breathe deeply.
We may presume that when we move, our large muscles found in the legs and arms do most of the work. But the opposite is true. Most of our movement starts at the center of our body and moves outward. Having a rock-solid core ensures your movements are strong and pain-free. Conversely, if core muscles are weak, your quads, hips, and knee joints bear the extra pounding of your body weight, leading to fatigue, pain, and even injury.
A simple but effective exercise to build core stability is to draw in the abdominal muscles (think about your belly button pulling away from your pantline), hold for five breaths, and then relax. Repeat ten times.
Learn how to strengthen and develop your core muscles and watch your life and health improve.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911.