When we hear core the first thought that comes up for most of us probably has to do with tight abs. The abs are only part of the picture. Your core comprises your entire midsection or trunk, including your back. It supports virtually every move you make, especially when it comes to fitness. Washboard abs are nice but it is actually a strong core that helps you run faster and jump higher.
A strong core powers your performance
According to fitness.com Most of us focus our running efforts on our leg muscles. But a strong core should be right up there with the quads, hamstrings, and calves. “A powerful center makes you better at any sport or movement, like running,” says Sadie Nardini, an anatomy and spinal expert, author of the 21-Day Yoga Body, and founder of Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga. Proof: One Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research study found runners had faster times running 5,000 meters after six weeks of core strength training.
Benefits of a strong core
A weak core reduces function in your arms and legs.
• According to Harvard Health, virtually every move we make either originates in the core or moves through it. Without a strong core, you will have less power to move explosively or with vigor.
Helps you maintain balance and stability.
• The core provides stability for your body. When it is strong you reduce the risk of falling, even on uneven surfaces.
A strong core also supports good motor skills and alignment, which you need to be your best in sports and in daily life activities. You’ll enjoy better posture and have more oxygen to power through your workout. You can also reduce or eliminate back pain so you feel like working out
Strengthen your core with the plank
Start in the same position you would use for a pushup. Bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms. Check that your elbows are directly beneath your shoulders. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet – like a plank (hence the name). Your back should not be arched or curved and legs should be straight. Hold only as long as you can maintain the form – for beginners that might be 10 seconds, which is perfectly ok – stick with it and build from there.
Your core supports not only fitness goals and activities but just about everything you do from gardening, tennis, rowing or even tying your shoes. Swimming, running, and volleyball, too. Your core offers support for every move you make. Get moving on that plank- a strong core equals better movement and performance.