5 Ways of Getting To The Core of Your Health

How core strength affects your entire body, by Dr. Claudia Machiella.

The core of your body is the area around your navel and pelvis. Most people think that the core consists only of the abdominal muscles, however, the core also includes your pelvic muscles, mid and lower back muscles and even your hip muscles. All of them work together to support your spine, pelvis, shoulders and skull. Core strength is necessary for pretty much any activity. Whether you are sitting or standing, running or walking, dancing or swimming, you call upon core strength to keep your spine stable.

Think of your core as a corset that stabilizes your entire body, helping to provide you with a centre of gravity that you can rely on to support your every move. When you are standing upright or in a ‘sirsasana’ yoga headstand, the strength to engage in those activities comes from the core. The core of your body is considered the power house of the body because it houses all of our inner organs, our central nervous system and facilitates all movement. Working toward improving core strength will enhance your posture, spinal alignment and will have you feeling and looking younger. Who doesn’t want that?

Benefits of Core Strength

Building a strong torso involves achieving two things: core stability of those deep internal muscles close to the spine, as well as core strength—which is the much sought after ‘six-pack’. It’s important to build core stability first, then build core strength. That means that you have to get the deeper muscles working first.

1. Less Back Pain.

Weak core muscles leave the spine to stand alone without the support it needs. This leads to increased risk of back injury and pain. In my practice, I constantly emphasize the importance of having a strong and developed core in order to aid in the recovery and prevention of low back pain. 

2. Better Balance.

Poor balance is usually the result of lower body weakness, vestibular dysfunction (inner ear) and neurological deficit. Studies have shown that as core strength improves, so does balance. Messages to the brain from the muscles of the lower body improve when the deep core muscles and abdominal muscles are strong. 

3. Improved Athletic Performance

Every single sport and physical activity requires core strength first, then the engagement of the necessary muscle for the specific action. For example, a runner engages core muscles to prevent their legs and arms from fatiguing, and a golfer engages his/her core before swinging to create control and strength. Even a baseball pitcher engages his core muscles before throwing. All of the power behind each activity come from the stability of the core.

4. Strong Posture

If your core is weak, your posture will appear slumped and you will look and feel tired and older. As the core muscles weaken, the midback will become arched placing a lot of pressure on your cervical spine (your neck). That will only lead to chronic headaches and shoulder tension. 

The great thing about developing core strength and stability is that it does not require special equipment—just a few minutes a day and a bit of dedication. 

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About the Author

Dr. Claudia Machiella

Dr. Claudia Machiella

Dr. Claudia Machiella owns and operates one of the GTA’s leading chiropractic clinics.  Since 2001 Dr. Claudia Machiella has grown and built her practice and has been a Chiropractic advocate in her community.  Most recently she has opened a second location in Vaughan in order to provide increased accessibility to chiropractic so that more people […]

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