- By Micah Dorfner
Reasons to Care About Your Core
Whether you enjoy going to the gym five days a week or doing a few sit-ups occasionally, chances are you may not place enough emphasis on your core. Because of the tendency to neglect this group of muscles, it’s important to know the benefits your body receives from core muscle exercise.
“The muscles around your trunk and pelvis are called your core muscles,” says Erin Pokorny, a Mayo Clinic Health System nurse practitioner. “They work together to provide stability and balance. In order to play sports and participate in most physical activities, a strong core is a necessity.”
Pokorny provides tips to make the first steps toward a strong, healthy core:
- Find some floor space and lie down on your back with your knees bent. With your back in a neutral position, tighten your abs and raise your hips off the floor. If you do this exercise correctly, your hips should align with your knees and shoulders. Hold this position as long as you can.
- Grab a pair of free weights, and do exercises that involve maintaining a stable trunk. There are numerous exercises you can try to find the perfect fit for your goals.
- Implement a well-rounded fitness program that includes aerobic exercises, strength training and core exercises.
- Visit mayoclinic.org for more exercises that you can try at home.
“Your core muscles allow you to do all the things you love,” says Pokorny. "Without strong core muscles, playing your favorite sports or hiking your favorite trail wouldn’t be possible. Having strong core muscles is an essential part of your health. To put you on the fast track to a strong core, follow this advice, and get moving.”