You and your body are so much more
A strong core is not synonymous with six-packs and washboard abs. Our core isn’t even our abs exclusively. The core muscles, as described by the Harvard Medical School publication Healthbeat, are, “the sturdy central link in a chain connecting your upper and lower body.” This chain refers to, yes, the abdominals, but also the pelvis, the gluteals, and our lower and mid-back muscles and hips. So just like you, your core is more than just your abs and you’re already using your core in more ways than you think.
The core stabilizes the spine -specifically the lower back- and pelvis. The core is put to work when lifting, training for sports, cleaning, gardening, bringing groceries into the house, turning to talk to your neighbour, maintaining good posture, and so much more. So, when you are lifting your carry-on into the overhead bins and do not drop it on someone’s head, you can both thank your core for that. Plus, a strong core helps out in sexual activities.
OK, you’re saying, I would like all of these things, but also, I would like to not do sit-ups. Good news, sit-ups are not the only path to a strong core. With the idea that your body is a chain link, if the middle of the chain (our core) is weak, that can impair how your legs and arms work (the terminal chains). When you go to move your arm or a leg, your core muscles are consistently activated before you even start to move a limb. We can strengthen our core with planks – and yes, modified versions count – hip bridges, and bird dog. Sign up for a class or session with me, and I’ll show you. Actually, got a few 30 minutes? My new class To the Core is all about getting to know our core muscles. See you there?