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The Importance of a Strong Core

Having a strong core is essential for overall health. You can minimize most back problems if your core is strong. Having a strong mid-section also helps with having good posture and overall alignment. Also, having a strong core aids in supporting the spine. Having a healthy spine helps in keeping other joints such as the knees and ankles in good working order. But before we get into a great workout on how to really strengthen your core, let’s first learn about the anatomy of the muscles that consist of the core.

The Muscles of the Core

The core does not only consist of the abdominal muscles. In turn, having a six-pack ab does not necessarily mean that you have a strong core. The main abdominal muscles of the core are the rectus abdominis, the internal and external obliques, and the transverse abdominis. These muscles are undoubtedly necessary for movements such as bending forward, twisting to the left and the right, and drawing your navel inwards. But there are other muscles that are also important parts of the core.

Main Abdominal Muscles

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

 

The erector spinae muscles that are found in the back are responsible for allowing the movement of standing up straight from a bent forward or a bent-backward position.  Also, the multifidi muscles are small back muscles necessary for spinal stability. All these muscles are basically interwoven and connected to the spine.

Erector Spinae Muscles

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

 

Most people usually have an imbalance of strength concerning all the muscles of the core. In most cases, the erector spinae muscles are stronger than the abdominal muscles or the other way around. Luckily, there is a well known and effective exercise that addresses all of the core muscles; the plank. The following exerpt is from an article found in Fitnessista.com where they discuss and describe how to correctly perform a plank. It later goes into a very challenging plank workout.
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5-minute plank burner {video}

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”  Good morning! How’s the day going so far? Helloooooo from Minnesota! I’m in Minneapolis right now to check out the General Mills headquarters with some of my best blogging friends.  (with Monica, Amanda, Janae, Julie and Tina!) View form the Mill City Museum Making homemade Dippin’ Dots for dessert at Travail It took a […]”
http://fitnessista.com/2015/02/5-minute-plank-burner-video/

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This workout may be too much for you if you have not been working on your core. Remember to start easy and make sure you have the correct alignment. That is the most important factor when starting out. You may even want to omit the workout and simply start with 30 seconds of the plank. You can then build on the time weekly. Even doing a minute of holding the plank position can do wonders for your core strength.

Below is a very effective plank workout variation as an HIIT or high intensity interval workout. Enjoy