The “core” that everyone talks about is made up of the abdominal muscles on the front, your obliques on the sides, and the deep back muscles. Think of the core as a canister that connects your upper and lower body. As you more your arms and legs, these movements either start in your core, or move through it. Relative weakness through this canister can affect how well your arms and legs function. If you are properly strengthening through your abs and the rest of the core muscles– including the pelvic floor– it jacks up the power that can be generated when you move. A strong core also improves balance and stability through your body, so it can help prevent falls or injures in sports.
A strong, flexible core is important in everything that you do:
- bending forward to put on shoes
- turning to look behind you
- reaching for something
- golf, tennis, swimming, running– you name the sport, they are all powered by a strong core
- housework, gardening- bending, lifting, twisting, vacuuming, mopping
A plank position is a great exercise to help build strength and endurance through your abs and the whole of your core. Like every exercise, form matters! Once you have your form down, make sure you’re performing this consistently to build strength. It can get monotonous to do the same exercise all the time, so check out these plank variations below.