Your core is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the center of your body, and should be the center of attention when perfecting posture. Made up of abdominal and low back muscles connected to your spine and pelvis, the core plays a crucial role in body alignment. By regularly incorporating core work into your workout program, you will begin to notice that standing up straight is a whole lot easier. This won’t go unnoticed either; prepare for people’s praise on your perfect poise.
Any workout regimen should begin with achieving stabilization. Correct body alignment is necessary for muscles to move optimally. A primary function of the core is to stabilize the spine, where all movement and force is produced. Even as weight increases or the exercises progresses, stabilization will allow you to perform exercises with the proper form, providing you with optimal results. But form doesn’t matter when you’re lifting heavy, my cute but clueless workout buddy once told me, moments before complaining of neck pain from jerking his rear delt fly. Avoid this mindset, and believe that form DOES matter, especially when lifting heavy weights.
Do lower back pain, tight hamstrings, or tense shoulders and neck sound familiar to anyone? Whether it’s at the gym or in the office, these are concerns myself and others have experienced. The whole body is connected; if one part is thrown off, then other parts will be affected. If you have a weak core, then likely your lower back is overcompensating, explaining the tightness many people feel in this region. Tight hips and poor posture also stem from a weak core, leading to the complaints mentioned above. These tensions are relieved when the related muscles no longer have to compensate for an unconditioned core.
The benefits of working your core are countless and diverse. Produce more force with a strong and stable core. Burn more calories with a high intensity, high rep core workout. Improve endurance throughout the body by strengthening your core. Regardless of what your fitness goals are, core work will help you achieve them, because a promising foundation for future outcomes starts with the core.