Why engaging your core is so important
Have you ever been to an exercise class where the instructor has told you to ‘engage your core’? You might be wondering what this means and why it is so important that you do this in daily activities, as well as when exercising. 🤔
Firstly, what are core muscles?
Our core isn’t only our ‘abs’ or six pack as you might imagine. Instead, our core is made up of a complex system of muscles in our front and back 🤯 These muscles include the rectus abdominis, external obliques, internal obliques, transverse abdominis, latissimus dorsi, and erector spinae. While it’s not important to know all the fancy names for these muscles, it’s good to understand that there is more to our core than just our tummy muscles.
What do they do?
Core muscles are responsible for all kinds of things, not just exercising. They’re the muscles responsible for mobilising our spine through flexion, extension, and rotation. When we do things like lifting something above our heads, picking something up off the floor, or pushing and pulling an object, our core muscles are what keep us stable while supporting our spines 🙌
- Our core muscles are also very important when it comes to being able to balance, both when we stand still or when our balance is challenged.
- Did you know that core muscles, which include your diaphragm, help with breathing? Our diaphragms flatten and contract to allow for room in our lungs to breathe.
- Finally, our core muscles help to control our bowel and bladder. If core muscles aren’t strong, incontinence can become an issue.
Sounds like these are pretty important muscles, right?
How does engaging my core work?
Our core muscles don’t work in isolation. When we move, sit, or stand they work in harmony with one another.
Core muscles should be engaged in any situation, not just when it comes to exercise. This helps to prevent injury and strengthen our core muscles so that they can do their job properly. Here are some simple exercises 🧘♀️ you can try to strengthen your core.
How we engage our core changes based on the movements we are making. When using our spine, engaging our core will help protect it. So always remember to tighten your tub when you move 😊