At our Indianapolis chiropractic clinic, we are often asked what exactly the core is, and why it is important for it to be strong. The core is not just one muscle, but is actually the combination of muscles between the chest and hip area. A strong core allows for proper spinal stability which allows you to utilize your other muscles to their maximum efficiency.
Below are 5 reasons you should strengthen your core:
1. Banish Back Pain. At our affordable chiropractic clinic, we see many patients with low back pain, which is often directly related to their core. Sitting at work is nearly impossible to avoid for many of our patients. By developing a strong core will help diminish the stress you feel in your lower back while you sit throughout the day.
2. Improve Posture. Your core muscles are, essentially, what hold your body together. A well-developed core will make sitting and standing straight much easier. Good posture not only looks better, but will also take pressure off your lower back and neck.
3. Enjoy Daily Activities Pain Free. We see many patients at our Indianapolis chiropractic clinic who are unable to do even simple activities, such as walking, without pain. In many cases, the pain is related to poor core activation and strength, as well as improper synchronization of the muscles and extremities. Patients with a weak core are often unable to hold planks for more than few seconds, however, with proper exercises and rehabilitation, they are able to eventually hold the planks for longer. This stronger core diminishes their pain, and allows them to perform their activities of daily living pain free.
4. Practice Proper Lifting. Whether you’re lifting at the gym, or doing something as simple as moving a chair, if your core is not strong, you may be lifting improperly, which can lead to injuries and pain. Developing a strong core will not only make lifting easier, it will help you avoid minor injuries and strains. [youtube_sc url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiQJVD5lcds&list=UUywozp0WIbd3OU4N9KQlUag”]
5. Enhance Athletic Performance. Your core acts as an anchor for your extremities, by providing spinal stability during activity. Athletes with a strong core will enjoy better performance and recruitment of their extremities. They will be able to, for example, throw a ball faster or harder, because of the powerful activation their core provides.
So, how do you strengthen your core? Unfortunately, many people believe that if they do crunches or sit ups they will have a strong core. However, this is not true. To activate the entire core musculature, crunches and sit ups are not only inappropriate and insufficient, but as a matter of fact, can contribute to poor posture, and be quite harmful to your discs. We recommend beginning your strengthening process with planks, side planks and bird dog.[youtube_sc url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCqBLPor16c&list=UUywozp0WIbd3OU4N9KQlUag”][youtube_sc url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFZwk6us-Zk&list=UUywozp0WIbd3OU4N9KQlUag”][youtube_sc url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9vI262Fwb4&list=UUywozp0WIbd3OU4N9KQlUag”]
While core-strengthening exercises are an important part of a well-rounded fitness program, we do recommend that our patients perform their core activities at the end of their workout sessions. Because the core plays a major role in the stability of the spine, fatiguing it prior to a heavy workout session could lead to injuries. Keeping your core energized will allow you to safely complete your workout.
Contact our Indianapolis chiropractic clinic today to learn more about core strengthening, and how a strong core can help diminish your back pain.
About Integrated Health Solutions
Dr. Charbel Harb is a licensed chiropractic physician and the Medical Director of Integrated Health Solutions. Our core belief is that each patient who walks through the doors is a person, not just a medical record or chart. Our greatest pleasure is bringing joy to our patients and helping them to fully embrace life, allowing them to enjoy each day: active, healthy and pain free.