I’ve been told I have a weak core. How would you recommend I build my strength?
The core muscles involve more than just your abdominal muscle or abs. The core muscles include your transverse abdominus, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae, pelvic floor and diaphragm.
The stronger core you have, the better and easier it is for you to engage in daily physical activities and will allow you to engage in sports with a reduced risk for injuries. Core exercises improve your balance, posture,
stability, strength, and allows for a more efficient movement. The good thing about core exercises is that it requires minimal equipment to start getting stronger. All you need is a floor and maybe a yoga mat to begin. Start with these exercises to build your core strength.
Plank — you need to support your body in a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles using your elbows and your toes
Bridge — lie on your back, put your feet close to your glutes and lift your lower back up using the strength on your heels
Dead bug — lie on your back with your arms reaching straight up to the ceiling and your knees bent at 90 degrees. Lower your right arm and left leg towards the ground at the same time and then do the same on the opposite limbs.
Other exercises that would boost your core strength include exercises such as the squat, deadlift, bench press and overhead press. To make your core stronger, you need to tighten and contract your core and protect your spine when you put heavy load on your hands or shoulders that essentially makes every exercise a core exercise.
A strong core can help to prevent injuries and back pain. It also protects your central nervous system and inner organs. If your core is strong, you will have a strong and confident posture. And most importantly, you’ll feel better and healthier.
Lau Moi Chee is Master Trainer at Gold’s Gym Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain. She is a Level 2 & 3 Certified Personal Trainer, who is qualified to assess for injury prevention and provide nutrition advice as well as instructing various group exercises classes.