Physical ability begins with your core. The strength and flexibility of your abdominal muscles influence your capacity to do anything you would on a normal day — e.g., getting out of bed, sitting at your computer at work, or even walking your dog.
A weak core can have various negative side effects. First, doing even ordinary tasks would be more difficult because your core muscles aren’t strong. Your back may regularly hurt or you may find yourself getting tired more easily during physical activity. An untrained core hurts your results in the gym as well. It restricts the total weight you’re capable of lifting because all strength-building exercises begin with your core. Further, a weak core can hinder your posture and ability to run or bike.
The core muscles are the base for all physical motion. When these muscles are strong, it is easier to move around and movements will have more strength and power. Trained abdominals influence simple actions like rising from a chair and as intricate as sprinting and extending to backhand a tennis ball back towards your opponent. A strong core is also an essential element of balance and can help lessen your chance of falling over. All of this means that you are better equipped to accomplish tasks that involve stretching, reaching, and extending your body. Ever painted a room in your home? From kneeling and bending to paint the trim; to using a roller to spread out the paint in an up-and-down motion; to straining to reach the highest corners of your room, your core stabilizes and anchors you.
The accompanying graphic provides information on more benefits of a strengthened core and includes five basic exercises to help you strengthen your own.