Our core strength is vital for most everyday activities that we do, like standing, walking, bending, lifting etc. We do not realise but every time we turn, twist, sit, stand, bend we are effectively putting our core to work. The mid section of our body is the most utilized part of our body. But somehow the most neglected too.
You will probably think I am talking off my head, “Isn’t everyone abs obessessed!” you are sure to say. “Yes!” ..but what most people don’t realise that it is not just the abs that make the core, it is your lower back, your glutes, and your obliques too. So while people do their crunches, Russian twists and situps, they conveniently forget the back and glutes that also need to be worked upon to give you all round strength and stability in your movements.
As one grows older, the possibilities of a fall, losing your balance, having fractures all increase manifold. If you don’t have the core strength to support your spine and hips, your mobility can become highly compromised.
Working on your core strength means giving support to your internal organs as well. It does not all them you become lax and therefore improves their working capacity, reducing indigestion. Support to the spine helps it to remain flexible and helps to maintain good posture too.
So here are 5 simple exercises to start building that strong core.
THE PLANK: Everyone knows about this one. Key points are to make sure the navel is pulled tight, back is in neutral position and palms are just under the shoulders, legs stretched behind on the toes. Breathe normally but holding your navel tight.
HIP RAISES: This targets the lower back. Lie on your back, knees bent, feet on the floor, hold your stomach tight and push it upward towards the ceiling, raising your hips from the ground. Key points are, Do NOT raise your shoulders off the floor and breathe out as you raise your hips.
RUSSIAN TWIST: This is a total concentrate on your midsection, that targets your obliques. Key points are to twist keeping your shoulder alignment straight to maximize the burn and do not rotate your hip.
BIRDDOG: Get on your fours, focus on your stability. Your body weight has to centralize itself at your navel, when you balance transversely on a single hand n single leg. Key point is to hold your stomach muscles tight and allow no tilt of the hip.
DEAD BUGS: It helps you isolate movement of your hip and shoulders while keeping your spine rested. Key point is to press your lower back to the floor, thereby engaging your abdominal muscles. This is also an extremely destressing exercise if you regulate your breathing well. This movement should be done extremely slowly.