Why bother strengthening the core muscles?
The reasons are bottomless, but let’s boil it down to the most important few:
- Injury prevention: core stability, influenced by the deeper-lying postural muscles, is the foundation upon which all other components of health should be built. A solid, stable core will keep your body and spine resilient to injury from all movements.
- Spinal longevity: your core muscles are the most important asset you have in preventing back pain and combating spinal degeneration.
- Protecting your nervous system: your spinal cord is your central command center, the highway upon which the nervous system communicates. A strong core mitigates the compression that puts your spine under pressure and disrupts the nervous system.
- Look better: an upright posture projects confidence and confidence is sexy.
Postural strength makes for a more comfortable life
Whether you are endlessly active or frequently sedentary, postural muscles are a cornerstone of keeping you pain free; therefore, whether you are a gym rat or a more low key homebody, your workout routine should include a focus on maintaining and strengthening the postural muscles. But what are the muscles that matter for postural strength? There are two main groups:
- Postural muscles: these muscles are always active, even when you have been sitting without a shred of movement for hours. These muscles are located deep in the body, between the pelvis and abdomen, as well as all the muscles which attach to the spine. These muscles often become tight from overuse.
- Phasic muscles: responsible for strength and initiating movement, muscles like the abdominals and glutes often become weak from lack of use.
The essential imbalance between tight postural muscles and weak phasic muscles leaves your body at risk for pain and dysfunction.