We’ve lost count of the number of people who think lifting weights and drinking protein is all they need to build their muscles. The truth is that unless they develop their core strength first, they’re unlikely to see any quick results.
Core strength training helps you to perform everyday activities more effectively, such as bending down to grab your bag and even standing up straight.
It also improves your performance when you’re doing other exercises. That means building your muscles faster if you’re lifting weights and burning calories quicker if you’re doing a high-intensity cardio workout.
Want to know more? Then read on.
What is your core?
Your core provides support to your spine and helps to stabilise the primary muscles you use when you’re moving or exercising. Among the major core muscles are the transverse abdominus, rectus abdominus, and obliques.
The transverse abdominus is found in the deepest layer of your abdominals and helps to keep your spine and pelvis stable. Your obliques control side bending and other spinal movements, such as twisting from side to side.
The rectus abdominus runs down the front of your abdomen and helps you to flex in a forward motion, such as getting out of bed in the morning. It’s the muscle you can see on those rock-hard, sculpted abs you’ve always dreamed of.
But why do I need a strong core?
Put simply, if your core muscles aren’t strong enough to support your primary muscles, other muscles will step in to support them. This can overwork muscles that you shouldn’t really be using and increase the risk of injury.
Imagine swinging a bat during a game of rounders. If your core muscles aren’t strong enough to support your triceps and other muscles, you’ll put them under unnecessary strain and your swing will be as weak as a kitten.
On the other hand, if your core muscles are strong enough to provide support to your primary muscles, your swing will be as strong as a lion. Or at least as strong as a fully grown housecat.
What’s the difference between core strength and core stability?
Core strength helps you to perform movements and actions more effectively whilst core stability helps to keep your body stable when you’re doing a physical activity. Both play an important role when it comes to your health and fitness.
Let’s revisit the example of swinging a bat. If you’re unsteady on your feet or your posture is off kilter, you’re unlikely to hit the ball with the correct technique. That’s why core stability training is equally as important as core strength training.
Read our blog on core stability training to find out more.
What can I do to strengthen my core?
At Core Balance, we’ve got a range of equipment that is specifically designed to develop your core strength. The equipment can be used to add instability to exercises which helps to fire up and strengthen your core stabiliser muscles.
A balance board wobbles when you stand on it to add instability to exercises such as squats and push-ups. It’s designed to constantly fire up your core as it works to help you maintain your balance. You can also stand on it to develop your stability.
A gym ball is a large inflatable ball which is perfect for adding instability to sit-ups, push-ups, lunges, and other exercises. Because it’s unstable to sit on, it’s great for using as an office chair to challenge your core and develop your stability.
Our balance trainer is the ultimate core training tool. If has half an inflatable ball on one side which can be used in a similar way to a gym ball. By flipping it over, you can use it like a balance board. Attachable resistance bands allow you to perform bicep curls and other resistance exercises whilst training your core.
A wobble cushion is an inflatable cushion which is commonly used for core stability training. As well as sitting or standing on it, you can place it on the floor and use it for crunches, lunges, and other exercises to develop your core strength.
Visit the Core Balance website to view our full range of core training equipment, as well as strength training equipment, yoga accessories, and more.