Core stability training has become a fairly hot topic in the workout world in recent years. Though some think it’s a bit of a gimmick, there are definitely legitimate reasons why you should want to be stronger throughout your torso and mid-section. Below are five reasons you should put at least some focus on improving your core stability.
Prevent Lower Back Pain
Most lower back pain results from some sort of muscular imbalance. Either the hip flexors and glutes are too tight, or the abdominal muscles aren’t strong enough to stabilize the mid-section during everyday movements. Regardless, balancing out strength between all your core’s muscle groups ensures all the musculature of the torso has good tone, is ready for whatever task you put upon it, and all works evenly so as to not pull your body into improper posture.
Continuing on the last point, improving your core stability will almost certainly result in a direct correlation with improved posture. While sitting too long, standing improperly, using poor exercise form, and so on can all lead to bad posture, the real culprit is almost always muscular imbalances. As a result, you’ve got one side (front, back, left, or right) being pulled in a direction way more than its counterparts. Striving for a stronger overall mid-section can counteract that.
Did you know that poor core stability makes it harder to breathe? This is because your entire ribcage needs to be able to easily expand fully to allow your lungs to fill up with air. This can only happen when the diaphram, intercostals, and other torso musculature is strong. In fact, a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research showed that participants who strengthened these muscles both not only had a more stable core overall, but were also able to breathe much more easily.
Be More Athletic
All other things being equal, a stronger athlete is a better athlete. However, an athlete is also more than just a collection of body parts – they’re one body functioning as a single unit. Getting your shoulders, chest, legs and other muscle groups all strong is great, but it’s your core that connects everything together and allows it to work as one. Having a weak core would be akin to having a strong fence and gate, but connected with weak hinges. Improved torso stability lets you better utilize your strength and speed.
Look Better in the Mirror
While better core stability obviously has many physical benefits, one of its top perks is aesthetic. Stronger core muscles are almost always going to be more toned and taut. This is going to result in an overall slimmer torso and narrower waistline. In turn, this can both better your figure and improve your V-taper.
All in all, improving your core stability is just a good idea. It keeps you healthy, improves posture, and allows you to better take advantage of other physical traits you’ve built up. Then as an aside, it helps you look better, too. While you don’t have to rearrange your entire regimen in order to make every exercise a quasi-core builder, doing mid-section training here and there is definitely a good idea.