What is core strength and why is it important?
The “core” is the center of all muscle activity in the human body. You could compare the muscular core is to the middle link to a thick chain. The upper chain is your upper body, arms, head and neck: the lower part of the chain is your lower body, legs and feet and the 2 are connected at the center with your “core”. A core that is strong and stable will not only give you a stronger foundation for your upper and lower body, it will also enhance your stability, balance and ability to move.
Let’s take a look at some typical examples which utilize a person’s core strength:
Each and every sport (swimming, Frisbee, football, baseball, tennis, golf and even bowling), relies on the body’s core for accurate and stable movement.
Simple Everyday Activity
Simple movements like standing up and sitting down, going form lying down to sitting up and even tying your shoe laces requires the use of the muscles in your core region.
Work and Job Related Activity
Any job you perform relies on the core muscles for stability. Even computer jobs which rely on the ability of the core to maintain proper posture while seated. There are some jobs (especially ones that involve repetitive lifting) that depend on core strength and stability more than others.
Balance and stability
The core is truly the “center” of your body and supports your body’s upper and lower extremities and spine. It is used in every single functional task you perform. When asked “What is Core Strength?” what would you answer?
Core and Back Pain
Low back pain and/or neck pain is a very serious and often severe problem for many people. Over 80% of people will experience low back pain at some point in life. Strength and stability of the core muscles is the “secret ingredient” to keeping a healthy spine and healthy low back. Diminished core strength is a very common cause of low back pain as well as head and neck pain. Read about causes of head and neck pain
Daily House Work
Everyday things and daily tasks like gardening, vacuuming, sweeping the floor, doing laundry, cooking and making a bed all utilize core strength.
Having weak core muscles can lead to an abnormal posture, which in turn can contribute to low back pain, neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain, arm pain, leg pain and many more painful conditions.
What are the benefits of having proper core strength?
Confidence Boost-Let’s face it: good posture, ability to do things, improved (core) strength all can contribute to improved confidence. The stronger you are and the more you can do all contribute to how confident you feel.
- Pain relief and strength-Relief from neck pain, headaches, lower back pain and prevention of future painful conditions.
- Improved balance and stability for daily activities and recreational activities-core exercises train the muscles of your abdomen, hips, pelvis and lower back. Don’t forget, that with a strong core comes better posture and trained muscles of the head, neck, shoulders and trunk.
- Increase ease of performance with daily activities-a stronger core can make many things easier and things can be accomplished with less pain. Examples include swinging a tennis racket or golf club, reaching to grab a coffee cup from the kitchen cabinet and even picking up your child, grandchild or pet
What is core strength? Core strength is confidence, it is pain relief, it is sports performance, it is balance, it is ability to complete your task pain free.
Physical Therapy for Your Core
What is core strength and how do I get it? It is not as hard to build core stability and promote core strength as you may thing. Read about Stability Ball Core Exercises. You don’t need any fancy piece of equipment to target the core muscles. You don’t need a celebrity selling you something from TV all while making you promises. What you need is one session with a licensed physical therapist at Flex Physical Therapy. We as your physical therapist will be able to not only teach you a customized home exercise routine specifically for you, all while taking into account any other medical problems you may have. Be wary about going to your local gym without assistance. Be wary about going to your local gym with the assistance of an under trained and/or under knowledgeable personal trainer. Often personal trainers get a certification by going to a weekend 2 day course. We will promote safe and custom core stability and core strength. The team of licensed physical therapists and occupational therapists at Flex Physical Therapy is highly trained in identifying muscle imbalances and weaknesses. Often we can eliminate painful conditions such as low back pain, leg pain, hop pain and more. The information we gather during our initial visit with you is used to create an individualized and customized home exercise program based on your needs and goals and current medical condition. Be wary of going to the gym and paying out of your pocket. Flex Physical Therapy takes most insurances and is a Medicare preferred provider in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Call Flex Physical Therapy today at 1-800-930-8803 to see how we can make your every day life easier by promoting a stronger core. It does not matter if you have not been active for a long period of time or not. Yoga is also a great way to strengthen your core! Click here to learn more about our yoga classes as Flex Physical Therapy!