The benefits of a strong core are far reaching. Your body’s ab muscles are what connect your upper and lower body. They support you, and help with balance and stabilization. As a result, nearly every movement you make, from swinging a bat to moving into a Warrior pose, engages your core. If your core is weak, your body’s overall strength and balance will suffer.
But how do you strengthen your core the right way, without spending hours doing crunches, and potentially injuring yourself in the process? Yoga and pilates
may be the answer. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of a strong core—and how you can get one.
The Benefits of a Strong Core
As we’ve already mentioned, your core muscles provide vital support to the rest of your body’s muscles. This means that much of the rest of your body is affected by the strength—or lack thereof—of your core. Having a strong core can help to support strength in other areas of your body. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true.
Often, having a weak core leads to chain reactions in your body. For instance, weak core muscles may cause you to slouch forward and have poor posture. Over time, this puts pressure on your lower back, and can lead to chronic back pain. On the opposite end of the spectrum, when your core muscles are strong, they can help to support a strong, pain-free back.
One big benefit of a strong core is improved balance. Whether you’re a dedicated athlete or working out to improve your strength, balance is important. It helps your body to engage the right muscles and reap the full benefits of a workout. If you aren’t well-balanced, you may also increase your risk of injury.
These are some other benefits you’ll reap when you strengthen your core:
- Stronger ab muscles can actually protect the organs located under your abdominal wall, like your liver, kidneys, and spleen.
- It can make you stronger overall, allowing you to improve your workouts or performance.
- With less back pain and more flexibility, you’ll age easier, and stay pain-free longer.
Why You Should Skip the Crunches
There was a time when crunches were considered to be the ultimate ab workout. From school gym classes to ab workout videos, crunches were an integral part of achieving your dream six pack.
But in recent years, the crunch has fallen out of favor. One reason is that this classic exercise could actually lead to injury. Research has shown a possible connection between crunches and disc herniation. The repetitive motion may put unnecessary strain on your spine. Even if you aren’t seriously injured, you may suffer from back and neck pain after one too many crunches.
The next time you think about strengthening your core, skip the crunches, and try one of these workouts instead.
Yoga for a Strong Core
There are plenty of strength training exercises that can help you to strengthen different parts of your core. But often, each exercise targets only one set of muscles, while neglecting others around it. This can make it difficult to know whether you’re truly strengthening your core as a whole.
Yoga is a great alternative. Many yoga poses require you to engage your core as you find your balance. Through standing poses that focus on stability and those that take advantage of your body weight, you’ll strengthen and tone your abs and help to build a strong, solid core.
Pilates and Barre for a Strong Core
Another great way to build a strong core—and build lean muscle throughout your body—is through pilates. Much like yoga, pilates combines mind and body exercises that won’t have you running laps, but will still help you to work up a sweat.
In a mat pilates class at the best pilates studio St. George, Utah has to offer, you’ll stretch and strengthen your entire body, but will focus specifically on your core muscles.
While you’re looking for some of the best pilates St. George has to offer, you should also try a barre class. With the help of a ballet bar for balance, you’ll focus on individual muscle groups. While these small movements may look easy enough, you’ll quickly feel the burn in your core, arms, and legs.
Making Yoga and Pilates a Part of Your Routine
Making yoga and/or pilates a part of your regular exercise regime is a great way to make strengthening your core a priority. The variety of classes available at the best pilates studio St. George has to offer, as well as the diverse schedule, makes it easy to add a pre-work yoga flow or evening pilates class to your already packed day.
While you’ll no doubt see a change in your waistline by adding yoga and pilates to your workout regime, much like other exercises, don’t expect to see results overnight. More than likely, you’ll notice the results of your stronger core before you’ll see them. From less back pain to better balance, as well as better performance in other exercises and activities like running or swimming, pay attention to how you feel as you work to strengthen your core, and you’ll quickly see the results of your hard work.
Take Advantage of Sun Rock Yoga’s 30 for $30 Pass
Ready to start working on strengthening your core, and as a result, strengthening your entire body? Sun Rock Yoga is here to help.
From yoga classes for every experience level to challenging Pilates classes that will help you to strengthen and tone your entire body, we can help you reach your fitness goals, no matter what they are. And with our 30 for $30 pass, new Sun Rock yogis can try out our many class options to see what they like, and get a feel for which classes will work best with their schedule. Sign up today to see for yourself—Sun Rock Yoga is for every body!