We all know that a strong core is important, it’s a buzz term we hear all the time. But in reality, how does a strong core support an ageing body? How can it help you?
1 – Injuries
An unstable body is an injury-prone one. A skeleton which doesn’t have the support of strong, reactive, functional muscles is a problem that will be solved by “imbalances” – where, over time, groups of muscles become dominant, opposing groups become lazy and supportive tissue begins to take on the role of its lazy parent muscle. All of these things will ultimately cause pain or injury.
A strong core creates stability in the trunk. This strength and stability creates a supportive base for other joints (like building on concrete instead of sand). Simply put – the stability offered by the core means that the muscles elsewhere are less inclined to overwork and overdevelop to “pick up the slack.” They can go back to doing the job they were designed for.
A good example of this is where shoulders are raised, painful and tight – very common in ladies over 40! Very often by strengthening the core it allows the shoulders to to relax and have a break from holding you up!
2 – Posture and balance
The core is the powerhouse that literally holds you up. A weaker core will mean that other areas need to become strong – and when they become strong consistency the muscles shorten to “hold” these new positions. Let’s go back to shoulders… if you spend your life looking at a laptop and slouch through the spine the core will switch off, the upper back becomes rounded forwards and these muscles become long and hard to activate (weak), in opposition the front of the chest becomes tight, shoulders roll forwards and there we have classes “desk” posture – can you relate? With a properly functioning core, it will support you in this position to avoid the dreaded slouch and holding your upright posture.
3 – Aesthetics
Just standing taller will create a trimmer, leaner silhouette but a strong core will also help to trim the waist and flatten the abdomen.
Strengthening the core is a process. I run a regular 21 day Core Challenge where we safely and progressively encourage the core back into action. This works really well for “finding” those lazy muscles and encouraging them to bear the load of their role but it’s important to remember that the process of strengthening the core is one that should be “Full Body’, working with different loads, in a variety of positions, and creating functional support that is there when you need it – not just in plank position – find out more here https://studioscoop.co.uk/core-challenge/