What is Core Strength and Why is it Important?

What is core strength? The “core” is the center of all muscle activity in the human body. You could compare the muscular core is to the middle link to a thick chain. The upper chain is your upper body, arms, head and neck; the lower part of the chain is your lower body, legs and feet and the 2 are connected at the center with your “core”. A core that is strong and stable will not only give you a stronger foundation for your upper and lower body, it will also enhance your stability, balance and ability to move.

Everything and I mean everything you do, uses your body’s core. Let’s take a look at some typical examples which utilize a persons core strength:

Sports/Recreational Activity – Each and every sport (swimming, frisbee, football, baseball, tennis, golf and even bowling), relies on the body’s core for accurate and stable movement.

Simple Everyday Activity– Simple movements like standing up and sitting down, going from lying down to sitting up and even tying your shoe laces requires the use the muscles in your core region.

Work and Job Related Activity – Any job you perform relies on the core muscles for stability. Even computer jobs which rely on the ability of the core to maintain proper posture while seated. However, there are some jobs (especially ones that involve repetitive lifting) that depend on core strength and stability more than others. I recently moved from a condo to a home. My wife and I hired a professional moving company. Those workers certainly depend on a strong core!

Balance and stability – The core is truly the “center” of your body and supports your body’s upper and lower extremities and spine. It is used in every single functional task you perform. When asked “What is Core Strength?”, what would you answer?

A healthy back – Low back pain and/or neck pain is a very serious and often severe problem for many people. Over 80% of people will experience low back pain at some point in life. Strength and stability of the core muscles is the “secret ingredient” to keeping a healthy spine and healthy low back. Diminished core strength is a very common cause of low back pain as well as head and neck pain. Read about causes of head and neck pain

Daily House Work – Everyday things and daily tasks like gardening, vacuuming, sweeping the floor, doing laundry, cooking and making a bed all utilize core strength.

Posture – Having weak core muscles can lead to an abnormal posture, which in turn can contribute to low back pain, neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain, arm pain, leg pain and many more painful conditions.

This list is just the tip of the iceberg. Like mentioned previously, the core is involved in everything you do. Strength and stability of the core muscles is the “secret ingredient” to keeping a healthy spine and healthy low back!

Strong To The Core

What is core strength and what are the benefits of having proper core strength?

  • Confidence Boost- Let’s face it: good posture, ability to do things, improved (core)strength all can contribute to improved confidence. The stronger you are and the more you can do all can contribute to how confident you feel.
  • Pain relief and strength – Relief from neck pain, headaches, lower back pain and prevention of future painful conditions.
  • Improved balance and stability for daily activities and recreational activities – core exercises train the muscles of your abdomen, hips, pelvis and lower back. Don’t forget, that with a strong core comes better posture and trained muscles of the head, neck, shoulders and trunk.
  • Increase ease of performance with daily activities – a stronger core can make many things easier and things can be accomplished with less pain. Examples include swinging a tennis racket or golf club, reaching to grab a coffee cup from the kitchen cabinet and even picking up your child, grandchild or pet.

What is core strength? Core strength is confidence, it is pain relief, it is sports performance, it is balance, it is ability.

Physical Therapy For Your Core

What is core strength and how do I get it? It is not as hard to build core stability and promote core strength as you may think. You don’t need any fancy piece of equipment to target the core muscles. You don’t need a celebrity selling you something from the TV all while making you promises. What you need is one session with a licensed Physical Therapist at Back In Motion, Sarasota Physical Therapy. We as your physical therapist will be able to not only teach you a customized home exercise routine specifically for you, all while taking into account any other medical problems you may have. We have the experience, the education, and the degree behind our name. Be wary about going to your local gym without assistance. Be wary about going to your local gym with the assistance of an under trained and/or under knowledgeable personal trainer. Often personal trainers get a certification by going to a weekend 2 day course. We will promote safe and custom core stability and core strength. The team of licensed Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists at Back In Motion Sarasota Physical Therapy is highly trained in identifying muscle imbalances and weaknesses. Often we can eliminate painful conditions such as low back pain, leg pain, hip pain and more. The information we gather during our initial visit with you is used to create an individualized and customized home exercise program based on your needs and goals and current medical condition.  Be wary of going to the gym and paying out of your pocket. Back In Motion, Sarasota Physical Therapy takes most insurances and is a Medicare preferred provider in Sarasota, Florida.

Call Back In Motion Sarasota Physical Therapy today at (941) 925-2700 to see how we can make your every day life easier by promoting a stronger core. It does not matter if you have not been active for a long period of time or not. We will custom a pace catered to you to get you “Back In Motion”.

About the Author Tim Burnell, PT

Tim Burnell is the Lead Physical Therapist at Back In Motion Sarasota. He has over two decades of clinical experience. He takes pride in getting to the root of the problem which helps get his clients better...Faster! He is a family man & enjoys spending time with the love of his life, Monique. He has 2 children & a dog named Annie. Tim's son, Andre' is 11 years old and his daughter Joliebelle (nicknamed Pooky) is 7 years old. He enjoys visiting his wife's side of the family in New Orleans and his side of the family in Vermont. Tim grew up in Vermont, went to Physical Therapy School in Alabama, got his first job at Tulane Hospital in New Orleans and moved to Sarasota Florida after Hurricane Katrina in 2006.

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