Our core muscles are the unsung heroes of the body. They may not be the most visible of muscles, but they certainly play a vital role in everything that we do, from standing tall to picking up our shopping bags, pets and children. Engaging the core muscles regularly can provide such a wide range of benefits for our health and fitness alike.
After having my two children, it took a lot of hard work and extensive exercise to rebuild my washboard abs to be able to do crunches, leg raises and inversions again. Losing my core muscles to pregnancy made me appreciate just how vital they are to a healthy active lifestyle. So here are a few tips and fashion-forward tricks to get the very best from your body!
Where are the core muscles located and what do they do?
The core muscles are a group of muscles that support the spine and pelvis. They include:
- The abdominal muscles, which run along the front of your abdomen
- The obliques, which run along the sides of your abdomen
- The erector spinae, which run along the back of your spine
- The diaphragm, which is the muscle that helps you to breathe
Why is it important to engage our core muscles?
There are many reasons why it is important to engage your core muscles. Some of the most important benefits include:
- Improved posture: Strong core muscles can help to keep the spine aligned and improve posture. This can help to reduce pain and discomfort in the back and neck
- Reduced risk of injury: A strong core helps to protect the spine and pelvis from injury. This is especially important for athletes and people who are most active
- Better balance and stability: Strong core muscles can help to maintain balance and stability. This in turn helps to prevent falls and injuries, especially in later life
- Improved athletic performance: A strong core can help us to perform better in athletic activities. This is because it helps to transfer power more efficiently throughout the body
- Reduced back pain: Back pain is a common problem, and a strong core can help to reduce this as strong core muscles support the spine and take pressure off of the back
- Better overall health: Engaging the core muscles can help to improve overall health and wellbeing by improving posture, balance and stability whilst reducing the risk of injury
How can I engage my core muscles?
There are many ways to engage your core muscles. Some simple exercises include:
- Planks: Planks are a great way to engage all of your core muscles. Start by lying on your stomach with your forearms on the ground and your elbows bent at 90 degrees. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels. Hold this position for as long as you can
- Crunches: Crunches are a classic exercise for targeting your abdominal muscles. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head and gently lift your upper body off the ground. Lower yourself back down and repeat
- Bird-dogs: Bird-dogs are a great exercise for improving your core stability and coordination. Start on all fours with your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees hip-width apart. Extend one arm and the opposite leg out straight, keeping your back flat. Hold for a few seconds and then switch sides
- Yoga: Yoga is a great way to strengthen your core muscles and improve your flexibility. There are many different yoga poses that target the core, such as boat pose, warrior pose and downward-facing dog
Engaging your core muscles is an important part of maintaining good health and fitness. There are many different ways to engage your core muscles, so find what works best for you and make it a part of your regular routine. You’ll be glad you did!
Quick Tips For Making The Most Of Your Core
- You can engage your core muscles throughout the day by simply drawing your belly button in towards your spine
- When you are lifting objects, be sure to bend your knees and keep your back straight. This will help to protect your core muscles from injury
- If you are new to exercise, start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts
- Be sure to listen to your body and take rest days when needed
Activewear Designed To Engage The Core Muscles
Whilst we undoubtedly all want to look and feel our best, keeping fit can at times feel like a bit of a chore. So having a little helping hand along the way to keep me on track, and maximise my results, is always welcome. I stumbled upon Enhance Shorts and Enhance Leggings by Enhance Active whilst looking for functional fitness wear and was amazed by their innovative design.
These shorts help to engage key core muscles whist you’re working out, or even just walking around, by firming and sculpting your curves. By targeting and compressing specific areas of the torso, these shorts help to lift, activate and tone key areas during exercise to improve the core, buttocks, inner and outer thighs.
With hi-elastic panels designed to engage the core muscles as you move, the firming technology tightens and molds the waist, buttocks and thighs with specially integrated stiff strips to stop all rolling. The super stretchy fabric has such a beautiful a buttery feel that is fully opaque, even when squatting, creating the sensation of a soft yet supportive compression.
Whether you’re working out at the gym, or simply hanging out at home or with friends, these shorts help you do so in style with their moisture wicking material that features a flawless 4-way super-stretch made from an 85% poly and 15% spandex blend. Not only do they give you an instant lift as they contour your curves, but their figure-flattering compression provide such a confidence boost to boot!
Conveniently warm machine washable, and low temperature tumble-dryer safe, these chafe-resistant beauties are my new favourite piece of kit that can help me to achieve my fitness goals and improve my health, one step at a time, whatever I happen to be doing.
Use code “TRACYKISSDOTCOM” at Enhance Active for 10% off.