The terms “core strength” or “core stability” refer to the muscles of your stomach or abdomen and back and their ability to support your spine and keep your body stable, safe and balanced, which is fundamental in any physical activity, if you want to stay injury-free and perform to your potential in sport.
There are some “old tricks for new players” and trying to progress too quickly can have its downfalls. Too much too soon can cause the wrong muscles to work and this can lead to you ‘losing control of your core’. When done correctly, chiropractic and training of the core is an effective, potent answer to low back pain, so let’s see what your core is and how to strengthen it.
What Is Your Core?
Your core is nature’s support belt. It stabilises and protects the lower trunk, the pelvis and the spine. The term “core” is a current buzzword in fitness circles, but it’s more than just the abs. It’s a group of muscles working together, dynamically to stabilise the body during movements. It includes the abdominal muscles but not just on its own. The low back, pelvic and spinal muscles contribute to the function of the core.
Your ‘core’ consists of the muscles which stabilise the spine, pelvis and shoulder girdle, and your primary core muscles include the muscles of your stomach, mid and lower back, buttocks and thighs. Together, these help to control movement, shift body weight, transfer energy and distribute stress throughout the body, protecting the back from injury.
How Core Strength Helps You
- Increases the power of both core and peripheral muscles
- Improving efficiency of movement
- Improving balance and control
- Reduces risk of injury by improving the body’s shock absorbers
- Protection and stability of your spine
- Better performance in sports activities
- Better posture when standing, sitting or kneeling
- Better shape and muscle tone
- Increased ability to prevent injury
- Better fluid circulation throughout your body
- Reduction or elimination of back pain
- Reduced stress to your frame
Simple Core Strengthening
The abdominal hollow, bracing or vacuum is a simple and basic building block for achieving core strength. Simple is good and this is a hard one to much up. It’s the best fundamental strengthening exercise anybody can benefit from, no matter what shape you are in.
As a general rule, any exercise or stretch should be stopped immediately if it causes significant pain or discomfort. Please inform your chiropractor of any exercises you cannot perform at your next visit.
Abdominal hollowing or bracing, the main technique of core exercise training, is achieved by pulling your navel in toward your spine and lifting your pelvic floor while maintaining normal breathing. These movements recruit the transverse abdominis, a muscle of the anterior and lateral abdominal wall which is layered below the internal oblique muscle, a major core muscle.
He is available for consultations at Armadale Chiropractic Centre at 880 High St Armadale Tel: 9509 7691 and Manningham Road Chiropractic Centre, 31 Manningham Rd Bulleen 3105 Tel: 9858 3777.