A strong core is the key to a healthy body both inside and out – and for more reasons than you might think. Slendertone ambassador and fitness expert Alex Crockford explains the far-reaching benefits of a solid foundation for both your health and physique.
It prevents painful and unnecessary injuries
Having a strong core is about more than just having a six-pack, says Crockford: “What it really means is that you have built up strong, developed muscles and stabilizers deep within the torso. Building strength from the center of your body outwards is essential for injury prevention, as the deep muscles attach themselves onto the spine and assist in withstanding force going through the body. A powerful core will therefore protect the spine and act as a solid base for when your limbs undergo impact.”
You will be fitter and more supple
Not many people realize how much we actually use our core to carry out simple, everyday tasks. “On a regular day we twist, reach, bend, squat, pull, push and lift in all sorts of ways and for all sorts of reasons: carrying the laundry basket up and down the stairs, turning a key in a lock, reaching for a jar at the back of the shelf… the list goes on. Having a strong midsection will help you do all these things with minimal risk of injury, as it helps the body support every movement – no matter how menial or tough the effort,” explains Crockford.
It benefits your posture
Your spine has natural curves that help stabilize, support and balance the body. “Over the years, poor posture can increase the pressure on the spine and slowly trigger changes in these curves, which will affect your ability to absorb shock, as well as your balance,” says Crockford.
In addition, your muscles may feel sore: “Whenever you slouch, your muscles have to work harder to keep your spine upright and stable, which can lead to overuse and fatigue in the muscles that go from your neck through to your lower back. But a toned core will hold all of your deep torso muscles tight and help you maintain an upright posture, walk taller and exude more confidence.”
It can banish backache for good
Most people will experience lower back pain at some point in their life and, at its worst, it can be debilitating. According to Crockford, a weak core is the most likely culprit: “Poor core strength, especially when coupled with bad posture, will almost inevitably lead to recurring back problems. It’s also crucial to work on building up the muscle in both the front and back of your torso, as backache can be caused by a strength imbalance – so don’t neglect either area.”
And last but not least…
A strong core is important for lots of reasons, but there’s one benefit that’s particularly appealing: those washboard abs. “Once you’ve developed a powerful midsection then other areas of the body, including the more superficial muscles, will follow suit as you become stronger and more defined. So strengthen up from the inside out and your sculpted, toned tummy – not to mention your new found confidence – will not go unnoticed.”