The core of your body provides the basic foundation from which all movement occurs. It is also responsible for helping you sit up, stand up and balance on one foot! It doesn’t matter what your day involves, whether you are going for a leisurely walk, riding your bike, lifting weights or taking out the trash, your core muscles are involved in making it all possible.
Sure, there is the added incentive that working out on your core will help us look and feel fantastic, but there are so many other reasons why it is important that our core muscles are not ones to be neglected.
Strength and stability - The most obvious reasons are the strength and stability that is required to achieve everyday tasks. Even sitting up from bed is working many of the different muscles of your core.
Posture - A strong core provides the perfect foundation for good posture, so that you don’t slouch down and develop a bit of a hunch in later life.
Reduce injury - The stronger your core muscles are, the less likely you are to damage your body, most specifically your back, when performing everyday tasks. You will also reduce the risk of serious injury from an accident, because you will have your muscle layer protecting you.
Protect your internal body - You core muscles are responsible for protecting your internal organs and the central nervous system, most importantly the ones that run through your spine!
- Burn calories - The stronger and more defined you core muscles are, the more calories you burn in just simple movements like sitting up right or twisting your body! So the harder you work on it, the more it will keep working for you!
Don’t forget though, that your core is made up of a group of different muscles on the front, back and sides of your torso, not just your abdominals! In fact by solely focussing on your abdominals and neglecting the muscle of your back, you can actually cause weakness in your body and run the risk of injuring yourself!
These different core muscles fall into two groups, your major and minor muscles:
Major muscles include:
- Your pelvic floor muscles
- Transversus abdominis
- Internal and external obliques
- Rectus abdominis
- Erector spinea, which includes the longissimus and the diaphragm
Minor muscles include:
- Latissimus dorsi
- Gluteus maximus
So when working on your core muscles it is important that you don’t simply focus on carving out sexy abdominal muscles, aim for an all over core focused workout that includes the different muscles of your back, sides and buttocks also!