As an athlete, you've probably heard of many different exercises that are guaranteed to strengthen your core, but do you even know what those muscles are, what they do and why it's so important to keep them healthy?
The core muscles are defined as the muscles that lend support to the spine and pelvic area. This is the muscle group responsible for most of the athletic movement you do so it's very important that these muscles remain strong and healthy if you want to continue playing sports and exercising.
The athletes who are the most susceptible to core injuries are usually footballers. With all the stop-and-start running and kicking they do, their core muscles are working overtime and can sometimes develop Osteitis Pubis (OP). It's such a problem that FIFA estimates about seven percent of football players around the world will experience this painful syndrome.
Supacore's CORETECH™ is specifically designed to protect this important muscle group. Want to know what else your core does for you and why our compression gear works so hard to protect it? Read on.
1. Stay Balanced and Stable
Every yogi knows that the key to great yoga is having a strong, stable core that will support you no matter what position you're in. Balancing poses like Dolphin and King Dancer will be much easier when you have a strong core.
Balance and stability also lead to better posture. You've probably seen co-workers or friends hunched over, looking as if they're in pain instead of sitting straight up and relaxed. Their weak core muscles get tired quickly and allow the back to droop. This happens when they're sitting and standing.
Tighter core muscles lead to a balanced lifestyle. Your Downward Dog will never look better.
Photo: CC BY SA 2011 Matthew Ragan
2. A Happy, Healthy Back
When your back is aching after a rough workout or even while you're sitting at your desk at work, it might be because your core muscles are much weaker than your back muscles.
Having a healthy back is one of the biggest health benefits you can give yourself. You need a strong back to lift weights and be able to move quickly around a court or field, but you also need strong core muscles to keep the back muscles supported.
Don't forget, you can exercise your core from your desk as well. While sitting down, sit up nice and straight, pulling your core muscles in towards your spinal cord. This will keep it constantly working and hopefully stop any compressed discs from forming in the spine.
3. Stop Yourself from Further Injury
If you've ever been sidelined by an injury, then you know the pain and unending desire to get better and get back out there. Many athletes underestimate the amount of time they need to recuperate after an injury and end up further hurting themselves.
A strong core is a great start to preventing yourself from further injuring your body. Research has shown that with a strong core, you'll build muscle on top, which will further improve the fitness of the rest of your body. Because most of your movement starts from the centre of your body and moves out, having a strong core will ensure these centre movements come from a strong, pain-free place.
4. Safeguards against Injury to Central Nervous System and Internal Organs
One of the most important parts of your body as a whole is your central nervous system. This includes the brain and spinal cord. Mess with one of these at a game, and it's the last game you'll be playing for a while.
Your spinal cord, which connects all nerves to the brain, is protected mostly by your core muscles. When you sit up straight, inhale and pull your core muscles back, these muscles are the ones that provide the most support. If these muscles remain strong and healthy, you'll be at far less of a risk of hurting your spinal cord.
These muscles also protect the vital organs around the core, including your veins and arteries. Though small, these little streams are responsible for bringing oxygen to the parts of the body that need it most during a workout.
5. Improves Athletic Performance and Ability
Imagine having the strength to lift past your current weight limit and run up and down football fields all day. The best place to start on this goal is to work your core muscles.
As we previously discussed, your core is responsible for starting almost all movement in your body. Just try to imagine an athletic movement that doesn't involve the core one way or another. A runner's sprint starts with the core and travels through the legs. A tennis player's swing starts from the core and moves out to the arms and legs.
A stronger core will lead to a better athletic performance and will stop your movements form hurting so much. You'll be able to go longer, and you'll be in less pain after a particularly rough workout or game.
6. Healthier Respiration and Lung Capacity
Have you ever gone running and gotten so out of breath that you had to stop? The truth is you wouldn't have to stop if you had a better lung capacity, meaning a greater amount of air you could take in. How do you get a better lung capacity? It starts with your core.
The better respiration system and lung capacity you have, the better your body will be able to recover after a workout. Remember, the respiratory system collects oxygen that is then transferred to the blood. This oxygen is then delivered by blood cells to your tired muscles in need of oxygen. The more oxygen, the better your muscles will work and recover afterwards.
7. Rockin' Outward Appearance
You're going to be the envy of everyone at the beach when you show off your abs. The core muscles are what create that hot, flat six-pack that seems to be the goal of so many athletes.
Of course, you know by now that having a flat belly should not be the one and only reason to improve your core strength. From protecting your spinal cord to preventing further injuries, your core muscles do a lot more than just look nice. Take good care of them with Supacore's CORETECH™ and you'll have all the benefits of a great core.