And it’s not just to show off a toned tummy on the beach this summer. That’s certainly a nice perk. But the core is so much more than the muscles that make up your abdominals (rectus abdominus, internal and external obliques and transverse abdominus). You’ve got to include your back muscles, glutes and pelvic floor in the mix. Here the top reasons you should strengthen your core right here:
This is a biggie here. Back pain is nothing to play with, but certain core-strengthening exercises can ease the aches. Studies have proven how effective core moves are with patients that suffer with chronic back pain. Try: Bird Dog
Improves balance and stability.
When your back, pelvic, hips and ab are strong, you’ve got a sturdier foundation. So much of what you do in your daily life depends on stability – from walking up the stairs to picking up a box from the floor. A strong core aids you when you don’t realize it, and helps prevent falls in the process. Try: Single-Leg Forward Reach
Helps tone your abdominal muscles.
Knew you’d like this one. Yes, a consistent routine of core exercises will definitely help you carve out a toned tummy. But you have to cut back on cupcakes, too. Eating healthy and getting your cardio in will help burn the fat. Core moves provide the definition. Who doesn’t want that? Try: V-Ups
Helps improve your posture.
Good posture makes you look leaner and more elegant, hands down. A strong core can help you get rid of that slouch. And as a side benefit, having a better posture could help ease any lower back pain you have. Try: The Cobra Pose
Because you can do them anywhere!
Core exercises are a no-excuse, no-equpiment needed activity. Plank in front of the TV if you want. You can add weights to certain moves like the Roman Twist, but by and large, all you need is the commitment to do it. Try: Spiderman Plank
Stacy Julien is editor in-chief of CRUSH Magazine, and she loves a good core move. Follow her anytime on Instagram at @stacyjs_fitlife.