Keep Your Core Strong with Simple Movements
By Stephen R. Farris
The importance of maintaining a healthy core has many health benefits. Not only does a strong core keep your body in balance, but it also supports your heart health as well.
Your core (or midsection) is involved in numerous activities that involve the muscles in your glutes, abs, back, hips, pelvis, as well as your joints. If you play any type of sports, you know the constant twisting and turning needed to hit a ball, make a tackle, swim laps, or horizontal movements to juke a defender.
However, sports aren't the only thing that requires a strong core. Daily chores such as doing the laundry, raking leaves, planting flowers, and even preparing meals in the kitchen are all in need of a healthy, strong core.
We may not always have time to exercise and focus movements on core health, but there are a few simple movements -- other than planks and crunches -- you can do to help keep it strong through everyday movements.
It's as simple as it sounds, and requires no weights. Just find a good chair with back support. Sit down in the chair with your back straight, knees bent (hands resting on your thighs), and feet on the floor, then slowly stand straight up. Easy, right? Try to do at least 10 repetitions.
Side Leg Lift
Another simple movement, only this time you'll do it standing. You'll still need the chair as support. To do this exercise, stand next to the chair using good posture. Place one hand on the chair, then move your leg opposite from the chair in an outward motion and hold for a couple of seconds. Then return to a standing position. Do 10 reps, then turn around switching sides and repeat the movement with the other leg.
Carrying weight with whatever you have around the house can help strengthened your core. This can be accomplished using several different methods, or you can grab a couple of dumbbells to use instead.
- Laundry basket carry - Fill a laundry basket with a full or partial load of laundry
- Farmers carry - You can use bags of groceries, gallons of milk, etc.
- Suitcase carries - Yes, you may use a suitcase with something heavy in it
Whichever of the above methods you choose, here's how it works. For the laundry basket carry, hold the basket with both hands in front of your body. Walk forward for 30 to 60 seconds, remembering to practice your breathing and keeping your abs tight. Stop, drop, rest (at least 30 seconds), repeat. The farmers carry requires carrying objects by your side and repeating the same process required for the laundry basket carry. The suitcase carry requires a one hand carry by your side. You can always substitute items with dumbbells.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Charlotte, N.C.