Your core muscles stabilize your upper body and pelvis, keeping you upright and balanced. They also help maintain healthy postural alignment, and prevent low back ache.
A weak core can lead to falls in older adults. If you participate in winter sports, that require balance, you should be strengthening your core. Walking in high heel shoes is a real challenge to stay upright, especially if they’re worn for streetwear. Anyone who lives in a cold climate where snow and ice is common, should work on their core. Each time you go up, or down a flight of stairs, your core keeps you balanced. Backpackers carrying heavy loads while trekking on uneven terrain, need core strength.
FOUR METHODS TO STRENGTHEN YOUR CORE MUSCLES
BOSU BALANCE TRAINER
The BOSU looks like a stability ball cut in half. BOSU means “both sides up”, because it can be used on both sides. With the unstable dome side up, and flat side down, the BOSU remains stable. Stepping onto to dome, you can perform exercises on the unstable surface. Turning the BOSU over, the platform becomes very unstable, for more advanced exercises.
GIANT BALANCE DISC
The Giant Balance Disc is similar to the BOSU. If you’re planning on working out at home, the disc is easier to store than the BOSU, since it’s lighter, and takes up less space. It creates an unstable surface, with the same benefits as the BOSU.
Pilates was created by Joseph Pilates, in the 1920s. The emphasis is on developing a strong core by controlled movement. If you’re a beginner, take it slow, and start with basic exercises. Build a strong foundation by learning how to control each movement, and then increase the difficulty of each exercise. As you become more advanced, the Pilates Ring, Ball, and Band may be added to your routine for more difficulty.
The Exercise Ball is also called a Stability Ball, or Swiss Ball. The sizes range from mini, medium, large, and very large. A wide range of exercises are available when using these balls. The primary benefit is core strength. Placing a mini ball under your leg in a side-lying exercise, makes the exercise less stable and more difficult. The larger balls are used seated, lying on your back, or on your abdomen.
Information in this post is educational. It should not be used to replace medical advice from your physician, or other healthcare provider.
The exercises described in this post are informational, and not meant to replace the guidance of a personal trainer in a live setting. Exercises performed incorrectly may result in injury.
Copyright 2012 Irene Pastore, and Blue Moon Personal Training