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When it comes to exercise, a strong core is never a bad idea. Your core is the powerhouse of all of your movements, so building abdominal strength can help you perform athletic movements like swinging a tennis racket or baseball bat, throwing a punch, or weight lifting with more power than you would otherwise, says Santiago.
Strength isn't just important in your core — working the muscles throughout your body can help you function your best. And a solid core sets the stage for success with that additional strength training , says Santiago. "A strong core means the ability to lift more weight ," he explains. "Strong lifts require a great deal of stability and core strength to execute with proper form."
According to Santiago, having a sturdy torso helps you hold steady no matter what activity you're doing. "A strong core helps you stand straighter and keeps your trunk stabilized during your workout or even as you go about your daily activities," he tells Byrdie. "If you have a weak core, you instantly heighten your risk of muscle injuries , lower back pain , and poor posture."
Another perk of better balance? An easier time recovering from missteps and staying in stride while you're on a jog , says Santiago. A strong core also helps you sustain solid form when you run, he adds. "Core strength allows the pelvis, hips, and lower back to work together more smoothly with less rocking and less excess energy expended," he explains. Not only does that bode well for your next run, but regularly practicing good form can help you avoid strain or injury as you log those miles.
Organs are a vital part of your body's function, and a strong core can help keep some of them safe, says Pachnos. Organs like your liver, spleen, kidneys, and more live right underneath your abdominal wall , which acts as a shield against the outside. As a result, the stronger your core, the better it protects that tissue from external force or damage.
Your core is the base of all the moves you make, says Pachnos. So the stronger your core, the easier it is to execute everyday movements like bending down to pick something off the ground, standing for long periods of time, or doing household chores.1 This is why many core exercises fall under the umbrella of functional fitness : They can help you go about your day with more ease, literally making you more functional.
Another major perk of a strong core? It helps you feel better overall, says Pachnos. "Having a strong core simply makes your quality of life easier," she explains. "It reduces any pain you may be having, supports your lower back , strengthens your spine, and makes you feel a whole lot better." That's because the ripple effects of a strong core — better posture, better balance, moving around with more ease — can help you avoid irritation and mitigate the discomfort from behaviors like sitting at your computer all day so that you can feel your best.
Core strength is important throughout your life, says Santiago. It stabilizes your entire body and gives you better balance and posture, all of which can help prevent falls, decrease back pain, and keep you mobile as you get older.
Your core isn't just your "six-pack" ab muscles at the front of your body, says Pachnos — it actually wraps around your entire torso, including muscles in your sides and back. So when all of your core muscles are stronger, particularly your inner core muscles that attach to your spine, it helps you better keep yourself upright with good posture .
A strong core can help you prevent some of the irksome neck and back pain that comes from hunching over your laptop all day.Sitting at a desk for long periods of time can negatively impact your core strength regardless of your activity outside of work
Total core strength and the good posture it brings also benefits your balance , Pachnos adds. That's because when you're working from a solid base, it's easier to stay upright on unsteady ground or recover from a stumble. "It creates an equilibrium in your body," she tells Byrdie. "You stand a little bit taller and have a balance throughout your entire physical being."
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