It is now pretty common knowledge that the strongest area of your body and the most fit, other than your heart, should be your core which basically is from the chest down to your pelvic area. A strong core has proven to give strength to all parts of your body and especially can take so much of the load off your back. They call your core your center of power!!.
I was playing golf with an acquaintance who had been in severe pain with back problems. He couldn’t do anything. He’s a very avid golfer and couldn’t play golf in the heart of the summer for approximately 7 weeks. For two weeks, he could barely walk. Problems with the discs in his back. It took him two weeks before he could even consider any type of rehab and then it was very gradual.
In speaking to doctors and chiropractors, they recommended he work on strengthening his core. These are all the muscles that stabilize the spine, pelvis and shoulder area and are far more than just the abs which are your basic stomach muscles. These muscle groups are responsible for transferring energy from large to small body parts and play a vital role in any sports activity or even just living without pain. I’m not going to waste time describing the various names for the muscle groups as it’s really unimportant but I will present some exercises that might help and the benefits you’ll receive from them. Basically, I would suggest you research other exercises yourself as there are so many to choose from and you need to figure out what will work for you. These are just a few.
From a strong core, your limbs can be moved more powerfully and under better control. The central nervous system stabilizes the spine before even minor movements take place. All athletic movements somehow incorporate the core as the central part of the movement. A strong core allows the body to work as a unit rather than weak muscle groups being dominated and your whole system is thrown off.
A strong core improves your balance, greater efficiency in your movement in that you will expend less energy to perform the same tasks. Risk of injury will be reduced especially in your spine area and basically you will perform all tasks in a better way athletically or not. The main beneficiary of all your core training will be your back. A very critical area. Weak core muscles lead to increased strain on the back.
Core training is far more than lots of ab crunches although that can be part of the program. Core exercises should dominate your workouts. Diet is also important. Great pieces of equipment for core training are stability balls and medicine balls and I suggest you look up various exercise for both.
Some popular core training exercises are the Prone Bridge which means face down balance your weight on your toes and your elbows!! Works the trunk and pelvis. A second is the Lateral Bridge which means to turn sideways and rest your weight on your straight left arm or elbow and keeping your body straight. Do this for both sides. The Supine Bridge where you lie on your back and raise your hips so that only your feet, shoulders and head are touching the floor.
The Pelvic Thrust means to lie on your back and raise your straight legs into the air. Russian Twists are great. Sit on the floor with your legs bent and sitting up. Use a comfortable weight or medicine ball and rotate left and right and try to keep your hips still. Good Mornings is a good exercise in that you use a barbell with a comfortable weight and bend at the waist and keep your knees slightly bent throughout. Dumbbell Lunges are super. As you lunge twist slightly by moving the weight from side to side. There are so many other exercises and you should look some up. An exercise or yoga ball is great and follow some of the exercise that are presented with the ball. Quite often there is a video included which is very helpful.
Work on your core and you will see an amazing improvement to your posture, energy level and athletic strength. What’s important to me is that I hit the golf ball farther so I’m into core training in a major way. Nothing could be more important physically for you so go to work. Look up Core Training and start working out. It might even change your life. As with all exercise, it will produce great benefits.