First and foremost, our core is not just our abdominal muscles, but all the muscles that move, support, and stabilize the spine, illustrated in the photo to the right.
What are the benefits of a strong core?
Core exercises train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work in harmony. This leads to better balance and stability, whether on the playing field or in daily activities. In fact, most sports and other physical activities depend on stable core muscles. Yoga, ballet, running, kickboxing, and everything in between are made easier when your core is strong. A strong core also helps to prevent and reduce back pain, improves posture, athletic performance and balance, and reduces the risk of injuries from everyday activities.
How can I strengthen my core?
Yoga and Pilates classes are great core strengtheners, as are isometric exercises like the Plank and Bridge poses. The Internet is full of posters and videos of various core strengthening exercises. Decide whether you need beginner, intermediate, or advanced exercises and follow your chosen routine at least three times per week.
A strong core means less low back and hip pain, better balance, and the ability to move through daily activities with ease. Core self-care will complement massage work on the back, hips and legs, increasing the benefits you receive during your massage session.