Published: Sept. 25, 2009
Updated: Sept. 25, 2009
Randy: Hi, I'm Randy. Today we're going to learn why the core muscles are so essential for your strong and healthy body.
Shefali: And I'm Shefali. Today we're going to learn why the core is so important for a healthy lifestyle.
Most people think about their body's core as just their six-pack muscles. They do a variety of exercises like situps to target just that area.
Randy: But six-pack abs, while aesthetically pleasing, are only part of your body's core. Let's go back to the Duke Sports Medicine Clinic to learn an exercise that targets your entire core.
While there are many exercises that help you strengthen the core, we're going to demonstrate an exercise we recommend called table top.
Randy: Position body on hands and knees, shoulders over hands, and hips over your knees. Activate your core muscle by pulling your belly button towards the spine. Start by just practicing activating this core muscle.
To make this exercise harder, you can slowly lift and alternate your arms while activating the core. Next, you can activate your core while alternating your legs.
Finally, alternate your arms and legs while activating the core.
Always keep the core muscles contracted so there is minimal movement in the lower back.
Shefali: The core is the base on which your body moves. It stabilizes the spine and pelvis. Some lesser known muscles of the core include the diaphragm, the transverse abdominis, the pelvic floor, and the multifidus. As you can see, the core is comporised of many other muscles than just your six-pack muscles, so situps or crunches alone will not do enough to strengthen your core.
Many common injuries can result from a weak core. A strong core is key to athletic performance; however, it's not just for athletes. Core strengthening is vital on or off the field.
Randy: It's important to note that this exercise does not treat any current condition; rather, it is important to building a strong and healthy core. Here at Duke Sports Medicine, we recommend that you add this to your normal exercise routine.