Posted on 20 Dec 2014

More than Just Abs: The Real Importance of Core Muscle Exercises

Trainers and fitness experts have often emphasized the need to introduce exercises for the core muscles into one's daily regimen. While the term "core exercise" has been fairly popular, it is often misunderstood as just a series of exercises that focus on the abdominals. Thus many people tend to believe that crunches and sit ups are enough for this particular area of the body. It is easy to assume this as true since a "six-pack" abdominal region is more easily visible area of your body, especially come beach season.

However, there is a whole lot more to core muscles than just abs. In fact, core muscles cover a whole larger region of your body that plays an important role in your daily tasks and activities, whatever they may be.

What are your core muscles? As stated earlier, the general understanding is that the core muscles are located at the abdominal region. While this is true to some degree, these muscles form just part of the whole picture. Muscles covering the length of your torso, from the front (the transverse and rectus abdominus that run from just below your sternum to your waist), back (the "lats", which cover your lower and outer-middle region of your back), sides (obliques, which runs down along your sides, from your ribs to your upper hips) and even your upper legs (hips flexors, muscles along the outside and inside of your thighs; your hamstrings, which extend down the backs of your thighs; and your glutes or hip extensors) are included in the core region of your body.

As you can see, your core muscle region covers a large portion of your body. In fact, health and wellness research has suggested that we should understand our core muscles as the "sturdy central link in a chain connecting your upper and lower body". Since your core connects your upper and middle body, they help provide you with the balance, stability and power you need to do your daily activities. As such, all movement you do either come from your core or more through it. Thus, weak or inflexible muscles can impair how your body functions and does certain movements and activities.

Essential functions of your core muscle group Developing a strong core gives you more power to do strenuous tasks, improves your posture and balance. The strength and power you need to do your tasks and activities originate from your core muscles. When your core is strong and stable, energy is more efficiently transferred to your other muscles, allowing you to do simple everyday tasks like household chores to more strenuous ones like sports activities with relative ease. Your core muscles are connected to your diaphragm and act similar to a corset that holds in and supports your internal organs, such as your lungs and heart. In turn, a strong core group of muscles will enhance your ability to inhale and exhale fully. Your lungs will be able to take in more oxygen and your heart will be able to pump more blood efficiently.

With the myriad of functions that the core muscles provide, you can easily understand the importance of strengthening this region of your body. More importantly you now know that developing your core is not just about having six-pack abdominal to show off come beach season. Strengthening your core will allow you to enjoy a higher quality of life.


Health and Fitness Advice by FitFarms Editorial Team

Image Credit:

We are the original FitFarms, featured on TV. Also featured in...

  • BBC
  • Daily Mail
  • 5
  • The Telegraph
  • ITV News
  • Channel 4
  • The Times