Core Strength

Sitting too much can be a real pain in the…gut?

Moving from face-to-face teaching to more online environments means we are standing less and sitting more.  As we know, sitting too much is bad for us.  But how?  One of the ways is by reducing core strength.  Core stability and strength are at the roots of movement. Less core strength can put us at risk if we are just starting an exercise program or are a weekend warrior. This article talks about the relationship between core strength and injuries – knee injuries being one of them.

Our bodies are clearly integrated machines, and a stable foundation makes the whole unit stronger. Raise your hand if you have low back pain.  Chances are, you do.  What does your core strength have to do with it?  Some research has shown that core stability exercises can significantly reduce back pain in the lumbar (low back) region. Core stability has been shown to enhance balance in older adults. (article behind paywall).

But what is a core, exactly?  People define the core in different ways, but basically it is the muscles that make up our torso. The muscles that hold our spine up are also included (I’m not going to say straight, because having a completely straight back is more of a problem than most realize).  The core muscles are aligned in such a way that allows us to bend forward, backward, side-to-side, and twist. 

Here are some short exercises you can do to strengthen your core muscles. As always, the difficulty level varies from workout to workout.

Tried any of these? Have others that you like?  Share them in the comments!