December 11, 2022 2 min read
Contrary to popular belief, the abdominal muscles and core musculature are not the same. The core refers to a complex series of muscles encompassing your torso, between your ribcage and pelvis whilst the abdominals are the midsection exterior set of muscles constituting just one area of your core. Your core provides stability and support to your spine to perform the necessary range of motions associated with every day-to-day movement and activity. Thus, your ability to carry out the demands of daily life efficiently is underpinned by
your core strength.
Hence, core exercises tend to be functional in nature, strengthening it from every plane of motion from natural movements and activities in daily life to athletic performance.
Core strength is fundamental for full-body functional fitness associated with the basic tasks of everyday living from standing up from a chair to housework. Yet, the importance of core strength is often over-looked until performing these functional movements becomes difficult.
Medical research demonstrates a lack of core strength causes your body to rely more on passive structures for stability, heightening your risk of obtaining muscle injuries and suffering from back, neck and knee pain. According to data compiled by the University of Queensland, back pain, in particular lower back pain, causes more global disability than any other condition. Performing activities that focus on entire core engagement can help in carrying out daily functional movements and further help in mitigating pain and protecting against injuries, improving everyday life.
Core strength is thus more focused on the subtleties of being able to maintain the body in ideal postures. Strong and stable postural muscles improve posture. Aligning the spine helps to unload the joints and promote ease of movement, decreasing abnormal wearing of joint surfaces to allow your muscles to work more efficiently. A strong core enhances balance and stability, aiding to prevent falls and injuries during both everyday tasks and athletic activity.
A 2021 review of studies examining the effectiveness of core strength training to improve functional mobility and balance in geriatric population published in the Orthopaedic Research Online Journal found consistent evidence to support the hypothesis of improved balance, independence, and quality of life in the geriatric population who completed daily strength exercises.
Engaging the core muscles has a key core function in improving athletic performance by promoting more efficient movement and therefore preventing injury. In the same way core exercises improve your standing and sitting posture, core strength training has the potential to help your workout form. This is particularly prevalent for strength training which requires core strength and stability to perform the exercises with proper form.