When discussing core strength most people think of the “six pack” abs that everyone longs for, however your core involves so much more then these superficial abdominal muscles. The core includes a number of muscle groups including; the diaphragm, the superficial and deep abdominal muscles, lower back muscles as well as the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are involved in nearly all of your daily activities. They work together to stabilize the torso and pelvis with turning, twisting, lifting, bending and reaching. When one (or more) of your core muscles is weak it forces your body to compensate by overusing other muscles, joints and tendons to keep up with the demand. Over time a weak link in this system of muscles will lead to areas in your body that become more prone to injury and pain.
Here are some warning signs that you may have a weak core;
pelvic floor disorders
If you suffer from any of the above you should consider adding some core strengthening exercises to your routine. This doesn’t mean hitting the gym and doing 100 abdominal crunches. You can strengthen your core through a number of exercises and programs. Weight lifting, yoga, tai chi, pilates, bodyweight and balance exercises can all be used to strengthen these muscles. Find one that best suits you and your body will thank you.
If you’ve been suffering from a weak core for a while it might be best to start with simple breathing exercises. Mindful breathing can help retrain these muscles to engage and work together properly. Contact a healthcare professional for specific exercises designed for you.