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Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

Monday, September 25, 2017

Common Core

The secret to sleek, sculpted arms and taught, toned thighs could very well lie in your…core.
Fitness and medical experts agree that a strong core provides you the foundation to effectively spot train all other parts of your body while also protecting you from many common aches/pains (like lower back and hip pain) and injuries. Surprising, a weak core could result in broken bones or fractures because of poor balance. It could also result in sprains and strains from extremities having to work too hard.
But to properly strengthen the core, you must first understand where it lies.
Most people commonly associate the core with just the basic abdominal muscles to the front of your torso. In reality, it’s so much more. Your core is shaped like a box or cube extending from the front abs and diaphragm to the lower back muscles then down to your glutes, pelvic floor, and hip muscles.
Many athletic trainers and physical therapists start with core exercises when designing workouts. Once the core is warmed up, proper movement and form can then naturally flow through your other limbs and out to the extremities.  
A good core workout will also engage not only your abs, but your back muscles and hips as well.
Great exercises for a strong core include:
  • Yoga plank position: holding yourself up face down and balancing steady on your forearms and raised toes
  • Reverse crunches: lying on your back, bend your knees and pull up towards your chest and then extend them high up into the air while lifting hips and buttocks off the floor
  • McGill curl up: lie flat on your back with one knee bent up and one leg flat, then slowly raise just your head and shoulders above the ground, hold for a few seconds, then release
  • Bridge: lie on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor, then slowly raise hips upwards, hold, and gradually lower down
  • “Bird dog” exercise: start on the ground on all fours and then slowly extend the right arm out straight along with the left leg behind you, steady, and hold your balance for several seconds, then lower back to all fours and repeat with the alternating side
If you have concerns about a weak core, or persistent back or hip pain as a result, please contact us for an appointment with one of our specialists or physical therapists.
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(Adapted from Healthline)

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