Walking, sitting, standing, running. We take these things for granted...until we find we can't do one or either of them through injury or illness. And it's only then that we realize just how important our "core strength" is and why it is fundamental to all our body movement.
The Core Defined
As described by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), the core musculature of our bodies is made up of 29 pairs of muscles that support the lumbo-pelvic-hip arrangement which helps to stabilize the spine - hence the term "powerhouse." It is because the spine is inherently unstable that we rely on core strength to help keep us in general good physical health. "It is the goal of core musculature," the NSCA explains, "to stabilize the spine during functional demands because our bodies want to maximize this stability".
A report in The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons further highlights the importance of core strengthening exercises when it states that it helps to prevent low back pain and knee ligament damage, for instance, and that core stability is predominantly maintained by the "dynamic function of muscular elements."
The American College of Rheumatology agrees, according to the results of a study published by a team of Danish researchers, which suggests that core exercises for women would greatly help reduce job-related neck pain. Forty-eight working women with chronic neck pain brought on by working with computers and other such monotonous tasks were randomly selected and trialled in controlled tests featuring "specific strength training," "general fitness training" and "reference intervention without physical activity." The results showed that specific strength training had "high clinical relevance" and led to "marked prolonged relief" in neck muscle pain, whereas general fitness training revealed only a "small" pain reduction.
It is obvious then, that functional exercises to strengthen the core musculature - or powerhouse - is essential for general physical well being, as well as being core for those people who may have a high degree of physical movement in their work or engage in a lot of activity. The benefit of core exercises for men is just as apparent therefore, as a study by Stuart McGill, PhD, would seem to confirm. The findings, published in The Strength and Conditioning Journal, recognizes the "unique function" of the core musculature and the importance of it in "many real life activities." He goes on to suggest that core strength exercises which are corrective and therapeutic would help to improve stability, mobility, endurance and strength of the body.
At www.changingshape.com we firmly believe in the fundamental importance of the "powerhouse" core musculature and have many core strength exercises for both men and women that will aid muscle development and provide stability to our all important spine.
So what are you waiting for? Start exercising with us today!