3 Important Reasons You Need a Strong Core, and 3 Ways To Get One (with Videos!)

 At Fitness on the Run (FOR), we define the core as all muscles between the hips and the shoulders. Below are the top three reasons for a strong core and several different movements performed by our superstar, strong trainers Erica Morales and Remi Rory.

 

During any movement you make through the day, even as simple as getting out of bed, you use your core. A strong core supports every portion of the most mundane of tasks: carrying groceries, picking up items off the floor, getting off the toilet.

 

“Think of your core muscles as the sturdy central link in a chain connecting your upper and lower body. Whether you’re hitting a tennis ball or mopping the floor, the necessary motions either originate in your core, or move through it.”

–Harvard Medical School, Harvard health Publications

For those of you who want to be fit, or more fit, a strong core is the central ingredient leading to a strong body. It all starts with getting a strong core. Have you ever admired a fit body with a soft core?  

 

1. When your core is weak, you begin to feel simple movements in other places, like the lower back, neck, and shoulders. Think of the core as the part of your body you WANT to use instead of relying on less sturdy parts of the body not intended for that use.

 

2. Your core stabilizes your body, allowing you to move in any direction and is preponderantly responsible for your body’s ability to balance itself in case of an unintended push, trip, or fall. 

 

3. A weak core contributes to slouching, putting undue strain on the spine. Proper posture projects confidence and helps contribute to a strong back, which can aid in a pain-free existence.  

 

Now for the fun part! Beyond concentrating on using your core for strength during daily tasks, below are our top three moves (and variations!) for getting a strong and fit core: 

Glider Single Leg or 2-Leg Mountain Climbers

 

 

You can use the more expensive version or you can buy furniture pads with a smooth bottom and perform them on the carpet. No turf necessary. Most important: make sure you place you hands underneath your shoulders, not your head, and keep your shoulders back, as if you are pressing them into your armpits.

 

Hollow Hold Rolls

 

 

The Hollow Hold is a foundational tension drill we use at FOR. While you lay on the floor, stand holding something – or not – and aim to hold that position for your daily tasks. Start with Hollow Holds with no rolls, pressing your lower back hard into the floor. The Hollow Hold rolls should be performed after you have progressed to being able to stay in that hold for 30 seconds; then try to roll without allowing your head or feet to touch the floor, like Erica demonstrates in the video. Not shown, also try Hollow Hold Rocks where you rock “up and down.”  

 

 

Remi performs another variation of the Hollow Hold here having some fun with a dynamax ball. Be sure to master the Hollow Hold before placing any load in your hands! We find that if you master the Hollow Hold, fun additions like this keep the mind off the burning core! 🙂

 

Planks (Lots of Kinds!)

 

 

Plank, walking plank, robot plank…the options are countless! Here, Erica is performing a walking plank, but again, master the hard-style plank before adding in any extraneous movement or loads. And, of course, as strong as she is, Erica makes the push ups, another HUGE core movement, look easy as pie.

 

 

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