“Brace your core.”
We have all heard our instructors say those three magic words, but what does that really even mean. What exactly is your core?
Your core actually extends further than just your abdominal muscles and is the support and center of the body. The core includes the diaphragm, muscles in the pelvic floor, around the hips and gluteal muscles. These major muscles move, support and stabilize your spine or are the basis of movement for your whole body. Serving as the central link in balance and stability of the spine and pelvis, all movements pass through it. A strong core consists of muscles that work together in coordination to stabilize and support your body, thus weak or inflexible core muscles can impair how well your body functions in everyday movements. But what exactly happens for our body when we strengthen our core muscles?
PREVENTS INJURIES – Developing a strong torso means building both core stability AND strength. It comes from the development of those deep internal muscles close to the spine as well as those “six pack abs.” By activating these deeper muscles for stabilization it protects the spine and surrounding muscles from static and dynamic movements. A stable core will help ensure your movements are strong and we become less likely to succumb to an injury in any aspect of our everyday life.
PREVENTS/ALLEVIATES LOW BACK PAIN – There is an overwhelming amount of people who suffer from low back pain. Research shows that people with weak core muscles have an increased risk of back ache and injury since they lack the adequate spin support. Core strength can help make people more mindful of daily movements, such as bending and lifting, which a straight spine is needed and are often the leading stressors of back pain. This is reached by improving mobility and strength in the hips, thighs, glutes and back.
IMPROVES POSTURE – Core strengthening exercises work all of the muscles of the torso, from top to bottom and front to back, helping you stand tall with all limbs in alignment. By improving posture you decrease the risk of disc herniation and spine stress as well as opening up your airways to help you breathe better.
IMPROVES BALANCE FOR EVERYDAY MOVEMENTS – Studies have also shown that with increased core strength so does dynamic balance, which is necessary in our everyday lives. Movements such as bending and lifting or walking up the stairs, a strong core is needed. Not only do you have better control of your muscles, but you can more easily find your center if you’re caught off-balance, reducing falls and injuries. A strong core lets you rely on those muscles instead of overtaxing others that aren’t meant for the job.
At our studio, we believe that a strong core is especially important and we offer a variety of classes to help make that a priority.
CXWORX is a 30 minute core focused format created by Les Mills International. During the workout, your instructor guides you though correct techniques as you work with resistance tubes, weight plates as well as body weight exercises to strengthen those all important core muscles. This program hones in on the torso and sling muscles that connect your upper body to your lower body. It improves your functional strength and assists in injury prevention. Don’t blink because 30 minutes goes quick!
We also offer TRX Suspension Training classes. While classes are created in the eyes of the individual instructor, any movement performed on a TRX Suspension Trainer requires that you brace and stabilize with your abs, obliques and lower back. This is so you can leverage your own bodyweight as resistance. TRX exercises use functional movements (the way we move in everyday life) to help you increase your core fitness. TRX exercises are also based on angles, which makes it perfect for beginners all the way to your elite athletes!
Core strength and function is so important in everyday life, training and functional movements! Come try out a few classes with us and we’re sure you’ll see the difference of what a strong core makes!
Les Mills International CXWORX