A couple of years ago, I decided to take up a new challenge, so I signed up for a paddleboard lesson and haven’t looked back. Standing on a wobbly surface in the middle of a canal, river or sea was not the easiest thing to do, but I think I had a bit of a headstart – core strength. Now I hear you say, why do I need core strength if I’m unlikely to go anywhere near a paddleboard. Because core is key to all our daily activities
What are the core muscles
- The Diaphragm – this is the muscle that is primarily responsible for helping us to breath. It attaches to your lower ribs and spine.
- The Transverse Abdominus – it sits under your six-pack and is the deepest muscle of your abdominals. It is also one of the first muscles to switch off when you’re in pain.
- The Obliques – these are the muscles on your waist.
- Multifidus – a deep muscle of the lower back.
- The Pelvic Floor – the deepest muscle cradled by your pelvis. It attaches to the spine, the pubic bones and to both the sit bones (the two bony points that you can feel in each butt cheek).
Why should we have a strong core?
- Everyday activities become easier. Bending down to pick things up, getting up off a low chair and reaching overhead become easier with a strong core.
- Your balance improves. Your core stabilizes your body. If you find it easy to stand on one leg while keeping your body stable, you’re less likely to become injured or have a fall.
- Your posture improves. With a good posture, weight is distributed evenly along your spine. A strong core helps your body achieve this.
How do I know if my core is weak?
A good strong core is good for everybody to aim for, but how do you know what state your core muscles are in? They aren’t as obvious as exterior muscles like your biceps!
- Lower back pain. A weak core can cause or contribute to back pain.
- You slouch. If you slouch frequently, the muscles around your torso could be having a hard time supporting your spine and keeping you upright.
- You have poor balance.
How strong is your core. Give these a go
- Stand on one leg on a flat surface without holding anything and close your eyes. You should be able to do this for at least 10 seconds on each leg (no photo sorry!!!)
- Do a full plank resting on elbows and up on toes. How long can you hold? Ideally you should be able to hold for at least 30 seconds. (if back starts to ache then stop)
If you would like more help improving your core, then get in touch