The Importance of Core Exercises

when people talk about core exercise the only benefits they see are having an extremely toned stomach and a six-pack. But this is wrong. This form of exercise has many, much more important benefits and will help to strengthen your pelvis, hips and lower back.

As some of you may already know, core exercises are a very important part of your exercise regime. But when people talk about core exercise the only benefits they see are having an extremely toned stomach and a six-pack. But this is wrong. This form of exercise has many, much more important benefits and will help to strengthen your pelvis, hips and lower back. Before we delve into what core exercises can do for you, a few examples of such exercises may be beneficial for you to know. Claire Mockridge, a Pilates teacher in the UK, details her top three core exercises to do. The first is a Shoulder Bridge. Claire says “Lie on your back with your legs bent, feet are hip-distance apart. Relax your shoulders and neck and place your arms down by your sides. Flatter your lower back into the mat first, draw your abdominals inwards, squeeze your bottom and peel the lumbar spine, then the middle back slowly of the floor. Rise up onto the base of your shoulders, breathe in and hold. Breathe out and lower yourself down onto the floor, vertebrae by vertebrae. A great exercise for runners because it strengthens the glutes (which are often weak), stretches the hips (which are tight), releases the lower back and increases core strength.” Another core exercise that is recommended is the Superman. This exercise is done like so, “Position yourself on hands and knees. Place your hands directly under your shoulders and knees hip-distance apart. Draw your shoulders away from the ears and lift the neck into a neutral position. Draw your core muscles in and slowly lift your right arm out to the side, and take your left leg behind you. Switch arms/legs. Keep your shoulders back and don’t get lazy by drooping your head down. This is a simple, yet effective exercise for increasing core strength.” And finally the Chest Opener; “Runners are notoriously tight in your chest/shoulders, so here’s a great way of opening up those inhibited pectoral muscles. Lie on your back with your legs bent. Start with your arms bent and above your chest (palms facing each other). Engage your core muscles to keep the pelvis still and slowly open your arms out into a T-position. Keep the shoulders relaxed and your core strong. Breathe out as you open and breathe in as you close the arms. For added challenge, slide one foot along the floor as you open the arms, remembering to keep the pelvis still and the shoulders down.” Now we move on to what these exercises can do for you and your body. Below is not the extensive list, but some of the main and most important benefits to participating in core exercises. One of the UK’s Leading Fitness Presenter and Creator of Kick Start Fat Loss, Rachel Holmes, tells us the top benefits of core. “The core muscles are in action in everything we do - walking, sitting, running, twisting, turning its imperative we maintain a strong and healthy core. It is the hub of the body. Also when just one small muscle in the core is weak or not doing its job properly this can lead to niggles in various parts of the body from the shoulders down to the toes.” Rachel also adds, “If the core muscles are weak in general this can lead to poor posture, back problems and pain, even ankle/knee/hip pain over time.” This type of exercise can do wonders from your body, by giving good posture, and strengthening your core and keeping it strong. There are many different types of core exercises that you can try, one of which will be suitable for you and you lifestyle. Jut remember to keep safe and perform the exercises in the correct manner.

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