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Why Core Fitness Is Important

If you’ve been paying attention to the fitness world lately or reading the latest workout books, you’ve probably heard experts mention core fitness in some shape or form. Strength training has traditionally been dominated by exercises that isolate the muscles of the arms and legs. Indeed, many of the weight machines that have become popular in modern gyms require you to sit or recline while using them.

While these machines will effectively help you build the muscles that they target, the problem is that we do not use our muscles in this manner in real life. Lifting a box from the floor to a shelf, swinging a golf club, pushing our children on the swing set, or climbing a rock wall are all examples of activities. The vast majority of what we do requires all of our muscles to work together and be coordinated through our midsections, or core.

While those activities may make the use of core muscles appear obvious, this area, made up of the muscles of our midsection, is also responsible for many more subtle functions, such as posture, balance, and stability.

A weakened core will frequently result in poor posture and stability, but we may not feel the effects in areas where there is a direct cause-and-effect relationship. Poor posture, for example, caused by a weakened core, may cause our hips to slip out of alignment, resulting in knee pain.

The problems that Australians are facing today are the result of a weakened core.

It’s no surprise that exercise science has made a significant shift in recent years to incorporate the core into strength training regimens. Trainers now recommend that their clients use free weights or bands to combine exercises such as a squat to overhead press, rather than using a machine to first exercise their legs and then their arms. People are forced to transition the exercise movement through their core muscles as a result of linking the two, and the core muscles, in turn, help to maintain good posture throughout the exercise. As a result, we exercise in a way that mimics the movements we use in everyday life, improving our posture and increasing our stability and balance.