The first thought for many people when it comes to core strength is doing multiple sets of abdominal crunches to build a six pack reminiscent of The Incredible Hulk. While building abdominal strength is a part of strengthening the core, there is much more to the story. The core provides a link between the upper and lower body. The core also has a significant role in any twisting, bending or lifting motions. Finally, the core is the heart and soul of stability and balance.
There are many examples of how vital the core is to the overall function of the body that can be found at Healthy Voyager. Most people don’t give any thought to doing routine things like putting on shoes, turning around to look at something or bending down to pick something up. All of these routine functions require a strong core. An astounding 86% of American workers sit at a desk for their job. Sitting at desk, working at a computer and answering phones all require core strength to do. Sitting all day can lead to tight or sore back muscles which can negatively impact the core.
80% of Americans will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. Lower back pain can severely limit the activities that a person is able to do, including many routine everyday tasks. An inability to perform routine activities like putting on shoes or picking something up can have a very negative impact on a person’s mental state as well.
So how does a person go about preventing injuries and building a strong core? It all starts with doing the right exercises, and doing them on a consistent basis. One exercise that can be done at home is the knee fold tuck. Start in a sitting position with hands on the floor and knees bent. Put a small playground ball between the knees and then bring the knees up toward the shoulders. At the same time, extend the arms out over the knees. Repeat this move 15 – 20 times. The climbing rope is another great core building move. Sit with legs extended and roll the spine into a C curve. Lift the arms and move them as if you were climbing a rope. Twist the body with each movement. Do 20 reaches with each arm. Building a strong core is vital to low back health, balance and for doing routine tasks.