Why Your Core is Key!

Ever heard someone say that the key to relieving lower back pain is strengthening your core? It may seem counter-intuitive at first, but having a strong core is imperative if you want a healthy and pain-free body.  Since most people focus on the aesthetics that abdominals provide, the real reason that a strong core is important (keeping your spine healthy) gets pushed aside.

Not everyone has the genetics or interest in having a six pack, but that does not mean that they should neglect the core. I can not stress enough how important it is to have strong abdominals regardless of what is covering them.  I have heard people say SO many times that they are “waiting to lose weight” before they do any core work.  This is a HUGE mistake-our abdominals are key when it comes to living healthy, pain free lives.  Our bodies have two layers of abdominals, the superficial being the rectus abdominus and the external obliques.  These are the muscles that the vast majority of people focus on in their hunt for the elusive six pack.  The more important but most often neglected are the deeper muscles, the internal obliques and the transverse abdominus.  These are the muscles that support our back, they provide both lateral and rotational support forming a corset of sorts which works to keep our lower back (the lumbar spine) stabilized.  A weak internal core leads to all sorts of problems and the spine can be severely effected.  Did you know that one of the primary causes for low back pain is weak abdominals?  Crazy, right? So, now you understand why a strong inner core is so very important-slack on your core and your back will suffer.

Ok so aesthetics, let’s talk about looks for a moment.  A question I have heard time and again is “How do I target the fat on my stomach? How do I get rid of it?”.  The sad answer, my friends, is that we can not choose where our bodies decide to lose from.  There is no secret exercise or magical ab crunch that is going to miraculously target that glorious little pooch that so many of us ladies struggle with.  The saying “Abs are made in the kitchen” is dead on-without a clean diet no amount of exercise will get you those washboard abs.  The best advice I can give you in terms of looks is eat clean, do intervals whenever you do cardio, and lift (an all-cardio regimen will destroy that much needed muscle mass).  But this is a discussion for another day and another post.  Let’s get back to strengthening the core.

There are lots of different exercises aimed at strengthening both your inner and outer abdominals, and these are a few of my favorites.  Check out the videos and experiment with which ones work best for you. If you have questions, let me know! I am always happy to help!

Bent Knee Raises

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DopkYMiUVMg”]

Bird Dogs

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zL0YEtJulBs”]

Planks (add leg lifts or twists to challenge yourself)

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSHjTRCQxIw”]

Back Extensions

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWRM3eC2GT0″]

Flutter Kicks

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcXBNRua2eo”]

Supermans

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cc6UVRS7PW4″]

Bicycles

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPKXFarXbys”]

Stir the Pot

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EuMtm2MzRA”]

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