We all know that a strong core can help with balance and stability, but did you know that a strong core can also help with injury prevention? A study published in the Journal of Occupational Medicine in 2007 saw that people who included core strength training as a part of their training program over 12 months reduced their risk of injury by up to 42%. This is because strengthening the abdominal muscles improves body stability and helps reduce the pressure on the knees, hips and back.
If you're looking for ways to improve your core strength in the comfort of your own home, check out these five exercises to get you started!
1. Regular Planks
Lean on your toes and forearms. Make sure your back is straight and your head is up! Hold this position for up to 30 seconds at a time. This will help improve your abdominal muscles and your lower back.
2. Side Planks
Want to level up your regular plank? Try the side plank! This exercise will improve your obliques and protect your spine. Start by leaning on the side of your feet and your forearm. Lift your hips and create a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. Hold for up to 30 seconds at a time.
3. Leg Raises
Start on your back with your legs straight and your hands by your side. Keep your legs together and raise them straight until you are at a 90-degree angle. Lower them back down without touching the ground and repeat 10 times. This will help strengthen your core, lower back and hips!
4. Glute Bridges
Position yourself on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat. Lift your hips off the ground until you make a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Squeeze your glutes while holding your position for 2 seconds or more. Move down slowly and repeat 10 times! This will help strengthen your glutes and stabilise your core.
Start in a seated position with your legs straight out. Lift your legs and torso so that they are at a 45-degree angle with the floor. It should look like you've formed a "V" shape with your body. Reach your arms straight forward and hold this position for up to 10 seconds. This will help strengthen your core and improve your balance!
These core strength exercises are important for people of all ages and are essential in reducing injuries and increasing stability in daily life and any sporting activity. For gymnasts, cheerleaders, acrobats and dancers, these exercises are also important in improving technique and performing more advanced skills.
Remember, consistent training is key to achieving results so don't give up! For more tips and tricks, check out our other blogs.