Why Is Our Core So Important?!

Core Strength

Core Strength

As therapists we talk about the core all the time, whether we are talking about your child or talking directly to you, I’m sure you’ve all heard it before “it’s because of the weakness in your core,” but what does this really mean and why is our core so dang important?! We have had countless conversations with parents and patients about this topic so we figured we would hit you guys with some core knowledge going into our holiday season!

Our Core Is Basically A Fancy Word For All Of The Muscles That Make Up Our Stomach, Our Back Our Hips And Our Pelvis.

That’s right our core is not just that stubborn belly fat that we can’t get rid of because of that Thanksgiving feast we just had! The core is the center of our body and it allows us to move in any direction while keeping us balanced. The core is our main stabilizer, it is what helps us sit up straight and gives us good posture, whenever we are moving around it has the ability to control the forces our movements produce. Do me a favor; take your right hand and grab your left wrist and see how much it moves around? Now I want you to make a fist with your left hand, how much less does your wrist move? This is how our core works, the stronger our muscles, the more they are able to stabilize and support our body versus allowing our body to move in all different ways causing excessive force throughout the joints in our body.

So I Bet You Guys Want To Know Why It Is So Important To Have A Strong Core?

What does a strong core help us do? Here are the top three reasons you should have a strong core: 1. Our core helps us breath properly. Believe it or not, our diaphragm ( the main muscle involved in breathing) is a part of our core and is surrounded by all of the important muscles that help us to be able to breath. If we do no have enough strength in our core this can lead to poor and inefficient breathing patterns. I mean come on people how important is it to be able to breath?! It only keeps us alive! 2. Our core allows our body to function properly. What I mean is that our core muscles (pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen) work together to support our bodies and allow us to perform everyday activities while keeping us stable and balanced. Our core allows us to move in any direction while staying upright so we don’t experience falls. 3. Posture, posture, posture- our core allows us to maintain a good upright posture. Good posture lessens the wear and tear on our spine and allows us to breath deeply (back to number 1). If we have a strong core we minimize our risk of injury and we are able to keep our body aligned to minimize the risk of injuries and strain on our muscles and joints.

In regards to your children and their ability to grow strong, the core is the most essential thing in order to be able to reach all developmental milestones. If you think of any functional position they have to get into whether that be rolling, crawling, sitting, kneeling, standing, or walking, they are using our core and that is the backbone to their success.

So I’m sure you expected a long list of exercises now to be able to get that strong core we just discussed but I’m going to give you just one. One of, if not the best exercise that works on the entire “core” that we talked about. A plank. The plank is an exercise that encompasses the entire body while challenging the strength and endurance of our core muscles. Below are 3 variations of planks that you guys can try. I challenge you to hold a plank each day for as long as you can and slowly build up your time as you go. This will help protect your backs for lifting and transfers too!

**If you need to modify – you can rest on your knees and perform the same exercise**

Questions?? Call us at 631-348-0959 OR email info@breakthroughptli.com!

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Christine Astarita