When we train the body we begin with the core. Many of you might wonder why personal trainers and fitness instructors are so adamant about engaging the core. Sometimes the explanation goes amiss especially in a group setting.
A strong core is ultimately your main foundation, as any force or action acing on or from the distal parts of the body (your outer muscles and limbs) will come from the proximal muscles of your body, this being your core.
Evidence of a weak core comes in the form of bad posture or lower back pain. This can be a result of sitting at a desk with rounded shoulders, or bad training and incorrect form in the gym. Good posture is more important to your health then you think. A good or bad posture is very revealing, giving us trainers information on body imbalances and yes core strength.
Apart from the usual suspects, chin ups, crunches, and planks to strengthen the core and its deeper muscles, here are some ways you can improve your core strength into your daily lives while you are at work and sat at your desk
1. Sit on a bozu ball or a balance ball chair at work. This will helps you sit tall and assist with core activation.
2. Take a 5 min walk. Sitting down has a huge effect on our core and posture, muscles in the legs shrink, others lengthen and it puts everything of balance as well as compressing down on your spine. Stand up go for a walk, get some fresh air, you will reap the benefits.
3. Bracing. This is an exercise you can you at your desk, sitting, standing or lying down. Contract the abs as if you are about to be hit in the stomach, by drawing the stomach in. Bracing activates all the abdominal muscles as well as the deep muscles in the lower back. This will strengthen the entire trunk. Practice this few times a day, or as often as you can, when ever you think about it.
It is not always easy for us to get to a gym, but if you can try and add a few habits throughout your day when you get time, your are going to find yourself making more time for yourself.. and perhaps getting back to the gym.