As an athlete, it is sometimes tempting to focus on a single body part connected to agility in your sport. Arms, shoulders, legs, glutes — they all get their day in the sun — but what about your core? It is vital to maintain a strong core, whether you are an athlete or not. Unconvinced? Keep reading!
Your core is literally the core, or center, of your body. It is a network of muscles located around the lower spine, pelvis, and hips. This is sometimes referred to as a “muscular corset” because it includes muscles that hold in your internal organs. The outer muscles that form the elusive “six-pack” are the rectus abdominis muscles, but there is also a set of important deep core muscles to think about: this is called the transverse abdominis.
There are several simple things that you can do to strengthen your core. For instance, simply holding in your belly or being mindful of your posture as you go through the day can help. You can also sit on an exercise ball instead of your office chair for a couple of 20-minute intervals a day.
The Mayo Clinic suggests exercises such as planks, side planks, bridges, abdominal presses, and abdominal crunches, although crunches are not recommended for those over the age of 65. Squats are also effective ways to strengthen core muscles.
Simply strengthening your core will not automatically give you a six-pack. You will still need diet and aerobic exercise (cardiovascular conditioning) to showcase that. However, a strong core is vital for any other type of exercise. You will look better when you can hold yourself upright in a balanced posture. You will feel better too.
The physical therapists at True Sports can work with you on core strengthening exercises as you prepare for surgery or recover from an injury. We specialize in sports rehabilitation and understand the unique needs of every athlete looking for the best care.
Make an appointment at one of our seven convenient locations in the Greater Baltimore area: Call (410) 514-3297