Did you know that your core is where all movement in your body originates? Mr. Hareesh Prabahakar, Physiotherapist at Royal Bahrain Hospital, highlights that many researches have concluded that core stability is essential for the maintenance of an upright posture, especially for movements and lifts that require extra effort such as lifting a heavy weight from the ground to a table. “Without core stability the lower back is not supported from inside and can be injured by strain caused by the exercise. It is also believed that insufficient core stability can result in lower back pain, poor posture and lethargy.”
“Nowadays, even though core exercises are known to be an important part of the exercise program aside from routine pushups and sit-ups it is more often neglected. The core muscles include the muscles around your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen, where the center of gravity is located. Core exercises help to train these muscles to work in harmony, leading to better balance and stability for all of your activities. Strong core muscles make it easier to do many physical activities.”
According to Hareesh, any exercise that involves the use of abdominal and back muscles in coordinated fashion counts as a core exercise, making it unnecessary for special exercise equipment. Basic exercises that will enhance the core fitness include bridge, abdominal crunch, plank and quadruped. Doing balancing activities on a fitness ball is a fun alternative to the basic core strengthening routine.
“Core strength exercises can be done on a carpeted floor or mat. Special attention is to be taken to breathe freely and deeply during each core-strength exercise. For starters, each core strengthening exercise can be done at least three times a week for five repetitions, which is slowly progressed to 10 -15 repetitions as core strength improves.”
Hareesh also provides tips for optimal results. “Choose exercises that work your core muscles simultaneously, rather than isolate each muscle group in your trunk. Also, focus on quality of movement rather than quantity. When starting out, take it slow and learn how to properly perform each exercise with optimal technique. It’s important to breathe freely while doing each of the exercises in your core strengthening workout, even though instinct may be to hold your breath during an exercise.” Additionally, Hareesh advises that you take a break when muscles feel tired, and to wait at least a day between workouts if you feel fatigued.
“A physiotherapist will be able to point out correct body position and alignment, which is crucial to performing core strengthening exercises. Most importantly core strengthening is just one part of a complete fitness program which also includes aerobic exercise and flexibility training.”
Mr. Hareesh Prabahakar [BPT], is a Physiotherapist at Royal Bahrain Hospital. To book your appointment call 17246800 or visit www.royalbahrainhospital.com