Core strength has become a popular topic because it affects the function of the entire body. A strong core means better stability, fewer injuries and less physical stress.
Weak core muscles can lead to chronic back pain and neck pain. Signs of weak core muscles include slumping in your chair, poor posture at your desk or lack of balance.
Why Do Core Muscles Matter?
The word “core” means central and that is exactly the function of your core muscles. They are central to nearly every movement you make and the stronger they are, the easier it is to go about your work and recreation comfortably.
What are Core Muscles?
If you think core muscles are just abs, you’re partially right. Abs get the majority of attention, but the system extends beyond that and includes the lower back and glutes, too. That’s why an exercise like sit-ups, which focuses exclusively on developing the abdominal muscles, is not adequate if your goal is to build a stronger core.
How can you tell if your core is weak? If you have low back pain or balance issues there’s a good chance your core muscles are weak. One simple test is the plank test:
Lie on the floor, propped up by your elbows.
Raise your torso up so that your toes and elbows are the only two parts of your body touching the floor.
Hold this as long as you can, then see how your strength measures up.