We’ve all heard about Core, Core muscles, Abs, and more. We all know that we have to work on those core muscles, strengthen them, get six packs, and whatnot! However, before we learn how we can achieve that, let’s start by learning what these muscles actually are.
What is Core?
Core is a group of muscles that controls the pelvis and the spine. Thus it influences the lower body (our legs), and the upper body (our trunk). These muscles aren’t for strength, it’s mostly for maintaining an ideal body posture, without pressuring the joints.
Now, let’s dive into the core of Core Anatomy, and understand which muscles are involved, and how it functions.
The core can be divided into seven sets of muscles. Each of these perform different actions for the functioning of the body.
- the rectus abdominis- these are responsible for flexing and rotating of the trunk.
- the external obliques- these muscles contribute to the stability of the spine. It helps in flexing and bending of the trunk towards the side. Furthermore, it also aids in rotating the trunk towards the opposite side of the body.
- the internal obliques- provides stability to the trunk and helps in rotating and flexing towards the same side of the body.
- the transversus abdominis- plays a major role in stabilising the trunk and compresses the abdominal wall.
- the multifidus- it supports the vertebral joints. In addition, it stabilises and allows for the rotation and flexion of the spine.
- the quadratus lumborum- it connects the spine to the pelvis. It is also responsible for the movements of the spine related to the pelvis, like bending while rotating.
- the lumbar erector spinae- these are long muscles that help in extension, bending, and twisting of the spine.
Why strengthen Core?
Sedentary lifestyle and wrong postures cause weakening of these muscles. This in turn increases the risk of musculoskeletal disorders.
Working on strengthening the core muscles helps in maintaining better balance and stability of the body. Core exercises or practices train the muscles in the pelvis, abdomen, lower back, and hips to work harmoniously together. Be it any sport or day-to-day activity, strengthening these muscles makes it easier in performing them.
Advantages of strengthening Core:
- Everyday activities like bending for putting on shoes, lifting objects, turning, twisting, and more.
- Everyday movement of body parts, walking, running, etc.
- Maintains a healthy back, reduces strain on the lower back.
- Makes it easier to play any kind of sport.
- House chores, gardening, cleaning, and other day to day activities.
- Good posture for the body.
- Stability and balance to the body.
- It protects your abdominal organs.
Does Yoga help in strengthening core muscles?
There are plenty of exercises and workout regimes that help strengthen the core muscles. It’s a common misconception that yoga is only for flexibility and not strength. In fact, there are a lot of asanas that help in strengthening the core muscles. In pretty much all the asanas practised, we apply laghu mula bandha, which involves engagement of core muscles. This helps in gaining balance and stability in the body, allowing us to lengthen, and twist the spine in a better way.
Asanas to Strengthen your Core.
Here’s are a set of asanas you can work on to strengthen the core-
Dwipada Prasaranasana (Plank)
Navasana (Boat Pose)
Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Single & Double leg raises)
Vyagra Swasa Variation (Cat & Camel)
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Learn Right, Practice Consistently, and Stay Strong!