You hear a lot of talk today about exercise to develop “core muscle” strength. Core muscles include the ones in your back and abdomen that help support your spine and balance your body. There are a variety of exercises that you can do to strengthen these muscles to alleviate back pain, strengthen your abdominal muscles and stabilize your spine.
When your core muscles are strong enough, all the muscles located in your abdomen, hips, lower back and pelvis work together to support your spine and increase your performance in any activity, including exercise.
Some of the benefits of core muscle exercise include:
- 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
- Stress reduction
There are many different types of exercise that strengthen core muscles, including Pilates, Yoga, and workouts with a balance/fitness ball. Many types of core exercise require very little investment and can be done in the privacy of your home. Very often, all you need is a DVD that demonstrates core exercises and a work out mat. No gym fees, no expensive exercise equipment and no leaving your home.
Proper breathing technique is an important element of any type of core training. You have to remember to inhale and exhale during your routine, pulling your belly button into the spine as you exhale to engage the core muscles properly.
There are many videos and on-line resources with exercises that you can do to maximize your core muscle strength. Investigate available resources on line, join a Yoga, martial arts or Pilates class or engage a personal trainer to discover how to improve the quality of your life with core muscle-building exercise!