Take care of your core

Posted by Steven Perkins DO
May 31, 2016

Take Care of Your CoreHow much attention do you pay to your core muscles? Even if you’re someone who goes to the gym five days a week, you may be neglecting this important group of muscles.

The muscles around your trunk and pelvis are called your core muscles. They work together to provide stability and balance. In order to play sports and participate in most physical activities, a strong core is a necessity.

What can you do to obtain and maintain strong core muscles?  Here are some tips to help you take the first steps toward a strong, healthy core.

  • Find some floor space and lie down on your back with your knees bent. With your back in a neutral position, tighten your abs and raise your hips off the floor. To ensure you’re doing this exercise correctly, make sure your hips are aligned with your knees and shoulders. Hold this position as long as you can.
  • Take up Yoga and Pilates. These activities require the use of your core muscles, build strength, and help with balance and flexibility.
  • Grab a pair of free weights and do some exercises that involve maintaining a stable trunk. There are numerous exercises you can try in order to find the perfect fit for you and your goals. Considering the fact that many of these exercises strengthen other muscle groups too, this is a very beneficial way to build a strong core.
  • Implement a well-rounded fitness program that includes aerobic exercises, strength training and core exercises.

Your core muscles allow you to do all the things you love, like play your favorite sports or hike on your favorite trail. Having strong core muscles is an essential part of your health. 

Steven Perkins, D.O., is a family medicine physician at Mayo Clinic Health System – Franciscan Healthcare in Waukon.

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