Most people know that a strong core is necessary for good posture and athletic ability, but few realize just how many other benefits there are to having a solid core. When you’re hiking, backpacking and doing extensive outdoor activities having a strong core can come in handy. Here we take a look at the top 7 reasons why your core needs to be strong:
1) You will lift more weight
If you want to get stronger, it’s pretty simple, you have to lift more weight over time. The best way to make consistent progress is with compound exercises like squats and deadlifts, which engage several large muscles all at once. One of the main limiting factors for these kinds of lifts is your lower back strength which can be significantly improved by doing core work.
2) You will move better
If you have a strong core, your body will be better able to utilize the strength of your legs and arm for very powerful movements. The reason that athletes can jump as high as they do or throw as hard as they can is because their bodies are working together as one unit. A weak core won’t allow you to engage those muscles which you need to and will result in slower movements and less power.
3) You will be a better athlete
It’s easy to see why a stronger core is needed by lifting more weight, but we all know that we can lift the most weight we can with perfect form. The same thing applies to athletic ability, you need your body working as one unit, and a weak core won’t allow you to be your best. So athletes of every discipline, don’t skip on your ab training because that will only hold you back from reaching your full potential.
4) You will look better
If the benefits listed above don’t convince you to do more ab exercises, then maybe this one might. A toned midsection looks great on anyone, regardless of their body type. To strengthen your core, you will have a flat stomach which will look great in just about any outfit.
5) Your shoulders will thank you
Having a strong core means that much of the work is being done by your abdominal muscles to keep your body straight instead of your shoulder muscles. This means that you are using less of your arm strength and allowing yourself to lift more weight, which over time will have a huge effect on the size of your arms.
6) Fewer injuries
A strong core can reduce many types of injuries because it allows the rest of your body to work together as one unit rather than a series of individual parts. When a muscle is injured, it can often reduce the strength or range of motion in other muscles, too, so keeping your core strength will help to prevent these secondary injuries from happening.
7) Better Posture
While having a strong core can help with posture, it’s also about making sure that you have good alignment throughout the rest of your body. For example, if you have a desk job and spend many hours at a time sitting in front of the computer, it’s not much good to strengthen your core if you are still habitually slouching or hunching over. You need to train your weak areas, too, so that everything works together as one unit.
Ab Training Tips
Don’t focus too much on sit-ups – there are so many variations of this exercise that overload your abdominal muscles in different ways. If you want you can kinesio tape belly fat, see how here, in the early stages to assist you with movement. Try lying leg raises, cable crunches, bicycle kicks, and plank hold to work the whole of your core and keep it strong and healthy.
Lift heavy weights – wherever possible, you should always try to lift heavyweights. This means staying away from doing too many isolation exercises with lightweight because you aren’t getting much benefit out of them.
Don’t do crunches – this is an old-school ab exercise that only works the upper abs, not the lower abs or obliques, which are just as important for a strong core. Many people do too many sit-ups, which over time has a negative effect on their posture.
Eat well – your diet is the most important factor in how you look, so be sure that you are only eating healthy foods and staying away from anything processed or high in sugar. Your abs will look better if they are kept safe inside of a strong, healthy body.
So there you have it, seven reasons why your core needs to be strong. By using compound exercises that incorporate several large groups of muscles at once while strengthening your core, you will see big improvements in all aspects of your fitness while preventing future injuries!