Core Exercises: 3 Easy ones to do at Home
How and Why to Strengthen Your Core
You may think of strengthening your core or core exercises as a way to get washboard abs or a 6-pack. But your core muscles serve very important everyday functions for your body.
What is your core?
Your core is “layers of deep muscles that help support your pelvis, spine, butt, back, hips and stomach,” a certified personal trainer tells Livestrong.
“They are the foundational muscles for keeping our posture strong and tall and allowing us to twist, bend, run, jump and just move.”
Main core muscles include:
- Rectus abdominis (the six-pack muscles)
- Transverse abdominis (the lower abs or the “seatbelt”)
- Inner and outer obliques (they’re on your sides and help you twist side to side)
- Multifidus (the deep muscles of your lower back)
- Erector spinae (the muscles that run along your spine)
- Diaphragm (the muscle at the bottom of your ribcage that supports breathing)
- Pelvic floor muscles (the muscles low in your pelvis that help control continence and have a huge role in pregnancy and birth)
What your core muscles do
“Your core muscles are the base of support for your entire body,” a physical therapist tells Shape. “They completely surround and support your spine and pelvis and connect your upper body and lower body, effectively transferring forces from one to the other.”
Core strength leads to better balance and stability during daily activities or sports, according to the Mayo Clinic. Strong core muscles make it easier to do many things, whether you’re getting a glass from a tall shelf, bending down to tie your shoes or swinging a golf club.
Signs of a weak core
When our core muscles are weak, Livestrong reports, our body can suffer in various ways:
- Poor posture or pain when trying to correct it
- Back pain you can’t pin to an activity (like muscle soreness or injury)
- Poor balance
- Back pain after standing for a long time
3 Easy Core Exercises to Do at Home
A core exercise is any exercise that involves using your abdominal and back muscles in a coordinated way. By doing these three simple exercises at home, you can help strengthen those key core muscles so you can move easier and avoid injury.
- Glute Bridge
Great for improving hip mobility and building strength in the glutes and hamstrings up through the lower back
2. Dead Bug
Safe and effective way to stabilize and strengthen the core, back muscles, and the spine. It can be used to promote good posture and prevent low back pain.
3.Cross Crawl Pattern
Strengthens back and postural muscles (which are weakened from periods of prolonged sitting). Builds cross body stabilization, improving gait and balance.
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