Your core muscles include the muscles of your abdomen, back, pelvis and hips. These core muscles work together to keep your body upright. Not only do they maintain the functionality of the spine and abdomen, but also to make those areas stable. Core stability allows your body to properly coordinate and control movement from the center of your body.
Why is core stability important? At the most basic level, the core muscles keep everything together in the abdominal cavity. When someone has a weakened core, they will be more prone to injuries and other health issues. Most movements are triggered from the core in some way or another and when the core muscles are failing to keep the body upright, then basic movements like walking can become harder, but also put more strain on the body leading to possible injury.
How am I weakening my core muscles? Many of us are weakening our core muscles because we don’t have proper posture and alignment. Due to our lifestyles, we do a lot of sitting. If we are not paying attention to our posture when we sit, we are constantly weakening our core. When we sit for long periods of time we tend to round our spines, bringing our shoulders forward and contracting our abdominal muscles. This weakens the back, constricts the abdominals and the chest. This rounding of the back can cause pain and irritation to the muscles around the spine. This also causes the spine to absorb more compressive forces when moving. When the curves of the spine are present, they act like a spring and allow for the spine to absorb the least amount of compressive forces when moving. However, when the curves are reduced, due to a constant slouching position, the spine absorbs more forces causing damage and leading to injury.
Some other dangers of prolonged sitting include reduced oxygen uptake, which then reduces the amount of toxins the body is able to eliminate, forward head posture which puts more tension on the back and neck, causes muscular imbalances, and also affects every major system in the body.
What can you do to build your core stability?
To really get the most benefit of core stability, you need to work on your core everyday. No I don’t mean that you need to be doing crunches or sit ups everyday. I simply mean that you can be cognizant of your posture and positioning everyday. Regular chiropractic care can help maintain posture and alignment.
I recommend people start with these 7 exercises to start strengthening their core.
Other things to help stabilize the core is by doing regular exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Ergonomic changes at the office can be very beneficial as well. Having the correct positioning for sitting at a desk is very important. Many people opt to put the right size exercise ball to sit on all day to activate their core.
The core is so very important. Having a strong and stable core area makes moving easier, reduces pains and injuries, and instills good posture. The core really is the foundation for all movement.
If you have any questions, we would love to help you at Gardner Chiropractic: Family and Wellness Center.