Your core is made up of several muscles that work together to provide stability, balance, and posture. The main core muscles include:
- Transverse abdominis: Located deep in the abdomen, stabilizes your pelvis, and maintains internal abdominal pressure, which helps hold organs in place.
- Rectus abdominis: Runs from the ribs to pubic bone, also known as the “six pack” muscles.
- Obliques: Lets you rotate your trunk. For example, if you twist your abdomen to the right, your left external oblique muscles contract, and if you twist your abdomen to the left, your right internal oblique muscles contract.
Other core muscles include the following:
- Pelvic floor muscles
- Erector spinae (sacrospinalis), especially the longissimus thoracis
- Lumbar muscles
- Quadratus lumborum (deep portion)
- Deep rotators
- Latissimus dorsi
- Gluteus maximus
How can you strengthen your core muscles?
Core strengthening is an important part of any fitness program. Any exercise that involves using your back and abdominal muscles in a coordinated fashion strengthens your core. Here are 3 examples.
- Start on your back and bend your knees.
- Your back should be in a straight but neutral position, neither arched nor pressed on the floor.
- Make sure your shoulders, upper body, hips, and knees are in a straight line.
- Slowly, raise your hips off the floor, keeping your abdominal muscles engaged, until they are aligned with your shoulders and knees.
- Without losing your form, hold this position as long as you can.
- Slowly, bring your hips back to the floor.
- Start on your back with your knees bent.
- Your feet should be hip-width apart.
- Cross your arms around your shoulder.
- Tighten your core muscles, tuck in your chin, and slowly lift your upper back without lifting your lower back or feet from the floor.
- Hold this position for 1-2 seconds.
- Go back to the starting position by lowering your back.
- Perform 8-2 reps as 1 set.
- Start on all fours, placing your hands below your shoulders and knees below your hips.
- Straighten your knees and place your feet hip-width apart.
- Tighten your core and hold this position for 10-30 seconds, gradually progressing to one minute.
What are the benefits of core exercises?
Improve balance and stability
A strong core helps you maintain balance and stability when performing routine activities such as bending down to tie your shoes, reaching for something over your head, etc.
Tone ab muscles
Aerobic activities reduce abdominal fat around your abs, and core exercises tone the muscles that shape your abdomen.
Relieve back pain
Strengthening core muscles can help correct poor posture and relieve back pain.
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Core exercises: Why you should strengthen your core muscles. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/core-exercises/art-20044751
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What Does Latissimus Dorsi Muscle Do?The latissimus dorsi muscle is the largest in the body and is up to 20-40 cm.
What Does the Trapezius Muscle Do?The trapezius is a large superficial back muscle that resembles a trapezoid in shape. It is broad, triangular, and runs at the back of the neck and upper trunk.
What Is the Best Exercise for Back Pain?We are often a bit negligent toward our back while doing chores or physical exercise. While the causes for back pain may vary, regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are crucial for keeping the back healthy.
What Is the Most Effective Core Exercise?The core is a collection of muscles that stabilize, rotate and move the spine. A healthy core translates into a stronger lower back and better balance. The most effective core exercises are dead bug, side plank, front plant, vertical leg crunches, flutter kicks, Russian twists and the hollow body hold and hang.