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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Core Strength and Why it Matters



What is the core? 
There is a lot of buzz about "core strength" these days but most people think of the abs when referring to their core. The truth is, there is a lot more to one's core than just the abdominal muscles. The core muscles are comprised of the pelvic floor muscles (that support your organs), the abdominal muscles (transversus abdominis, internal obliques, external obliques, and rectus abdominis), and the erector spinae (lower back muscles). These muscles, making up the core, are responsible for balance, flowing motion, and posture. Many people with lower back pain, shoulder pain, and chronic headaches find that once their cores are strengthened the pain subsides and eventually disappears. A strong core also gives you a flat stomach, a cinched in waist, and defined back muscles, which doesn't sound too shabby to me :).

So, how do I strengthen my core?

Pilates is widely accepted as the most efficient and safe way to strengthen the core. Try some of these exercises featured in Le Petit Atelier Pilates Blog for simple and effective exercises that will give you results fast:

Single Leg Stretch
Double Leg Stretch
A Triple Threat Ab Blaster
Push Ups and Planks
Side Plank Twist

The Huffington Post had a really interesting and informative article a couple of days ago about core strength and its importance. Check it out here. Have a wonderful Tuesday afternoon! XO

Photo: Shape.com

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