Have you heard the song “It’s all about that bass” from Meghan Trainor? LOVE that song because it’s about being happy with your body as it IS. Found myself humming it in my head yesterday while doing Coach Becky’s BURST Fitness™ Abs which motivated me to write this article for you today. “It’s all about that core!” Isn’t it funny how these things work their way through our brains?
We worry about so many things while trying to get fit and healthy but one thing we should really pay attention to is our core – our midsection. Strengthening your core takes more than doing five thousand sit-ups because your core is actually from your shoulders to your hips, front and back. Yes we all want six pack abs so we can strut our stuff in our bikinis at the beach but a strong core helps you with just about EVERYTHING you do from moving to lifting to protecting your internal organs.
Here are a few reasons why you should take the time to strengthen your core:
- When we walk, jog, run, sit, stand and just about everything we do each day, our core is what keeps us erect. With a strong core, our overall fitness improves helping to prevent injury.
- A strong core helps to limit and often will eliminate back pain. Strengthening our core means to strengthen the back AND the front. Often back pain is caused by the back being stronger than the front or back being weaker than our abs. Sitting all day at a desk with poor posture doesn’t help either. Be conscious of your posture while sitting and standing. Pull your shoulders back.
- In addition to keeping us upright, our core protects our internal organs and our most important veins, arteries and nerve endings. Just take a moment and think about your spine and how important it is for everything we do. It deserves to be protected doesn’t it?
- When you improve your posture, you automatically stand up straighter and walk with confidence.
- And of course with a strong core you not only look great in a swimsuit but in ANYTHING you wear. Everything looks better on people that stand up straight versus those that slouch.
So how do we strengthen our core? There are many great exercises which are listed below but also being aware of our posture as we move through our days will help. Drilled into my head a few years back by Coach Becky is shoulders back and down, core engaged, head is a natural extension of your spine. Just feel how your body moves into position as you “think” about each movement. Simply thinking this throughout the day will help you improve your posture.
In addition to correcting your posture, below are some exercises to strengthen your core:
- Planks – all types including regular planks, superman planks, rocketman planks, and side planks. Start with the basic plank for three 30 second planks, then as you get stronger, incorporate the more difficult planks.
- Tabletop crunches. Lift your legs as if they were resting on an ottoman then perform crunches.
- Glute Bridge. Lift your butt up while keeping your shoulders on the ground so that you form a triangle from your feet to your shoulders. Be careful so that you are in the correct position and that you don’t put unnecessary stress on your neck. See pic below.
Strive to exercise to strengthen your core two to three times per week for about 15 minutes each session. You will soon find that not only has your posture improved, your body is stronger overall.
To your health,
Denise Sanger of DeniseSanger.com is a high energy business owner with over 30 years experience in the marketing area. She has transitioned her love of fitness and marketing into helping others succeed in getting fit and running their own businesses. She founded How To Stay Fit Over 50 to provide hope and support to others by motivating them to take the first step in their fitness journey no matter what age. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.