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Maximizing core strength for athletics and general health Print E-mail

By Cameron Funkhauser

Core strength refers to the fitness of the muscles around your trunk and pelvis. These include abdominal muscles, back muscles, and the muscles about the hips and pelvis.

Core muscles are involved in most forms of exercise as well as many activities of daily living. The core forms a stable platform from which the extremities operate.

Core strengthening improves the stability of the trunk and allows the torso and extremities to work in unison. When the core is weak, greater stress is placed on the extremities and joints which can lead to injury, especially in athletes.   

Whether you're athletic or not, developing a strong core restores the balance of the workload and more evenly distributes stresses throughout the body.

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Core strengthening is often initiated under the direction of a trainer or physical therapist. Subsequently, a home exercise program can help you further improve and maintain core strength and balance.   

It might surprise you that abdominal exercises --resulting in toned abs or a great six-pack--really are a small part of core conditioning. A proper program can enhance balance, flexibility as well as body awareness. By maintaining this strength, subsequent injuries can often be avoided.

The following links describes a few common exercises done with an exercise ball, resistance band and mat that will  help develop your core strength for better performance and general health:

Core and Flexibility Workout

 

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