Most of us who exercise (and all of us should be doing it) have no idea what the body’s core actually is… nor why it is unwise to ignore your core.
The core of the human body consists of the large muscles of the lower abdomen, pelvis, lower back, buttocks and high thighs (front and back). Over the past 20 years, it has become apparent that most individuals, even conditioned athletes have ignored their core. Simply focusing on exercising what we can see: arms, legs, chest, and even stretching or developing cardiopulmonary fitness, regardless of the sport or exercise routine, has not resulted in the prevention of a variety of overuse injuries including low back pain. In fact, most folks over 40 who exercise completely ignore their core muscles….and pay for it! Yes, the core is indeed out of sight and therefore out of mind. It turns out that the core muscles help us perform more efficiently, give us great strength and help prevent back pain even when walking or working around the house constitutes our exercise.
I myself developed significant low back pain combined with a high hamstring tendon issue, all due to the fact that despite running and weight training x5 per week… I ignored my core. You see, I learned that as we age, our core weakens, despite efforts to strengthen the rest of our body. Unless the core muscles are stressed, the rest of the body might strengthen, but the core absolutely withers. And what is even more ironic, you don’t need fancy machines or a membership to a health club to strengthen your core. In fact, all of the core exercises can be done on the floor at home or when traveling.
These exercises are simple, make a lot of sense and I believe are a lot more important than all that weight training I was doing.
Above are some of these exercises. Learn 4 of them. Do them three times per week without fail. Then after two months, select 4 different ones. Within 8 weeks, your back pain might just become a lot better and you’ll find your posture improved. If you exercise vigorously, you will find that you move more efficiently and with less discomfort. Even getting into and out of a chair will be easier!
DON’T ignore your CORE.