CARE for your CORE

Core exercises for women are done in the pursuit of toned abs and a nipped in waist.  But strengthening your back will give you more that jut a taut tummy!

Your core includes the abdominal muscles, back muscles and the muscles that support the pelvis.  Together, they are the foundation of a fit, healthy body.  Rather than go for a flat tummy (nigh impossible post 50) the real goal is to stabilise and strengthen the entire torso.  Here is what you need to know about building core strength.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

Core exercises for women are beneficial for the whole body, and fab abs are just a bonus.  A strong core is the foundation of physical stamina and power but these muscles work hard during simple, day to day activities too.  They keep you upright and support you when climbing stairs or reaching for things.  They also aid balance, coordination and stability.  If you have better controls of these muscles, it is easier to find your centre when you're caught off balance.

A strong core helps your body move more efficiently while reducing your chances of back injury.  Good core strength is also great for supporting the bladder, uterus, colon etc.  Pelvic floor muscles can be weakened by childbirth, weight gain, or the menopause.

WHY CORE EXERCISES AREN'T ALL ABOUT SIT UPS

The good news is that ab workouts aren't the only way to strengthen your core.  Body weight exercises such as planks, squats and lunges are much more effective, as is Pilates and yoga, because it gives you awareness of the whole body and overall general strength.  Weak cores muscles contribute to lower back pain, poor posture and injuries as well as making everyday life a little harder than it needs to be.

RATE YOUR PLANK STAMINA

To gauge the strength of your core muscles, get into the plank position and see how long you can hold if for:

Less than 20 seconds: very weak and you need to do some work

  1. 20 - 30 seconds: ok but needs some work
  2. 30 - 50 seconds - good
  3. 60 seconds plus - excellent

WHAT'S THE FASTEST WAY TO STRENGTHEN YOUR CORE?

  • Hold A Plank
  • Stand up tall with and roll your shoulders back
  • Do A Chair Squat
  • Balance On One Leg
  • Squeeze Your Pelvic Floor

Try to incorporate these exercises into your daily routine and you will soon see that tummy disappear and all your back niggles vanish.

 

Shout out to Dane Wetton for the photo - danewetton.com