Core stability or core strength is very important as to how we function through life.  Recently my brother in law mentioned after having hernia surgery that he didn’t realize how the core of the body is involved in every movement that we perform until he was recovering from surgery.  Core stability is therefore not just important for athletes, but important for everybody to move without strain.  The centre of the body, or core, creates a stable centre from which we move.  If the core is unstable, stress or strain will occur within the core itself and throughout the extremities as they do not have a stable centre from which to perform their movements.  It is very common to experience spinal pain in areas where the vertebrae have become unstable or too mobile.  Therefore, spinal stability is a key component for the health of the spine.  As well, chronic tension in muscles of the extremities is often due to instability within the core of the body.  Many people have chronically tight hamstrings, which in most cases is due to weakness or instability within the centre of the body.  Stretching the hamstrings will not work in reducing the tension until the centre is stable.

The core of the body is the pelvic girdle, spinal column, and torso.  The core muscles are those that attach directly to these structures.  We have multiple layers in the back, the erector spinae muscles which attach to the spinal column, and very strong muscles in the deep abdominal area the hip flexor muscles.  The gluteal muscles are also considered part of the core musculature as they are important for hip stability.  They stabilize the pelvis and hips with the iliacus portion of the hip flexor.

Any exercise program which is designed for core stability needs to include static exercises.  Static exercise simply means to perform exercise without moving.  Examples would be a plank, static squat, downward dog etc.  I suggest people hold these positions for one minute.  If you want to test how difficult static exercises can be try doing 10 reps of an overhead press exercise with dumbbells, and then try the same exercise while holding a squat position.  While holding static positions make sure that you are breathing properly and not holding your breath.

Training your core will provide central stability to your body reducing spinal strain, as well as reducing tensions throughout your muscular system, and improving your strength and balance.

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