Core Blimey! Do You Need to Strengthen Your Core Muscles?

core musclesIt’s harder to visualise your core muscles, and so you might neglect them when you’re exercising. However, keeping your core strong is vital to your workout wellness, and your overall wellbeing, taking care of everything form movement to posture.

The 29 pairs of muscles that make up your core provide a stable base for practically any activity you perform, giving you balance, good posture and efficient arm and leg movement. Therefore, exercises that strengthen the core muscles are a vital part of any exercise routine. This could mean programmes based around pilates and yoga, which have multiple movements that support and build the core, but you can also experience certain benefits by simply balancing on one leg while stabilising your back and pelvis. Sit-ups and crunches seem like a natural option for building the core, but there are more effective ways of working most of the 29 pairs of core muscles.

For example, a variety of push-ups will work all of these muscles. However, the mistakes that many people make are trying to go too fast and using an abbreviated range of motion, which is only wasting your time and energy. Instead of doing a set number of push-ups, try to work each individual one slowly, keeping your body straight. Making sure your elbows at a 45 degree angle to the body, try to gently touch the sternum to the floor and rise up to a straight-arm position. If you’re just starting out, you may want to do this with your knees on the floor, or else stand with your feet about three feet away from a wall, place your palms flat against it leaning forward, and then slowly push away from the wall.

Once you get stronger, you can move into a traditional push up, and then, for a more complete core workout, try the reverse push-up. This involves using the same basic start position of the push-up, but instead of allowing your weight to move downward to the floor, you bend at the knees and hips and push backward until only your hands and feet are still on the floor, and your waist is totally bent. If you want an even more difficult version of this, and get even more of your core muscles involved, start the backward movement from your low position on the floor.

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