Almost any movement that you do both when working out or during your daily life, originates from your core. When you develop core strength, it allows all of the other muscles in your body to function properly. As a society, we do a lot of sitting and hunching over. This in turn weakens the core muscles and leads to many of the complaints that we hear about relating to back pain, headaches, and poor posture. As you begin to strengthen your core, your aches and pains will naturally begin to disappear and you will notice that your posture and balance will improve.
Aches & Pains
One of the biggest complaints that I hear from people most often is related to lower back pain. One of the main causes of low back pain is weak gluteus muscles and tight hamstrings. By strengthening your glutes and stretching out these muscles, you are decreasing the stress that you are placing on your body in these areas. As your core strength improves, you will notice a huge difference in the way your body feels.
How to Strengthen Your Core
One easy way to strengthen your core is simply by moving around more often. If you have a job where you sit and hunch over for long periods of time, this is especially important. Be sure to take breaks every hour or so, even if it is just for a few minutes, to get up and move around. Mini stretching sessions will also do amazing things for your core. Check out this post for some easy stretches that you can practice throughout your day.
There are many exercises that you can do to strengthen the core. Here is a list of some great options…
Exercises For Core Strength
- Push Ups
- Mountain Climbers
- Bird Dogs
- Boat Pose
- Super Man
- Bridge Lifts
- Bicycle Crunches
If you are new to some of these moves and need a visual, workoutlabs.com makes nice illustrated workouts that you can print or access on your phone. Here is an example…
Workouts That Target The Core
I have two workouts specifically that I know target the core. The first one is Barre. Recently I have been doing the Barre3 workouts online and I must say that I absolutely love them! There are over 200 different workouts to pick from and it only costs me 15$ a month! The Barre3 workouts are all very low impact and they help to strengthen your core, balance, and total body.
The other workout that I feel really works your core is boxing. Over the summer I did a lot of boxing at Title Boxing Club. These workouts are intense! If you enjoy something more cardio and core related, I highly suggest trying out a boxing class. Most of the classes consist of about 8 rounds of boxing and then about 10 minutes of a core workout at the end. However, don’t let that 10 minute core workout at the end fool you. You are actually working your core the entire time. Not only does throwing a punch work your arms and shoulder, but if done properly you will feel it in your core as well. By the end of the class, you are sure to have a great total-body and core workout completed.
What is your favorite core workout?