5 key signs of a weak core

5 key signs of a weak core

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Outsider Magazine

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Centra, core, "core exercises", "how to spot a weak core", "how to work out your core", "is my core weak?"

It’s easy to forget how important the core is in fitness when you’re busy going to spin classes, heading into the hills for a run or working hard to try to shift some weight. Here, we bring you 5 tips to spot if your core needs work as part of the Centra Restart Challenge




It’s worth remembering that your core includes 29 muscles that hold your whole body together and is the most important muscle group. It’s made up not just of our abs or stomach muscles, but that entire mid section, including your glutes, trunk, lower back, hips and even your upper thighs.

 

It is possible to have a strong core that remains hidden under several layers of fat, so don’t necessarily be put off by that, as your core may still be well developed. Here we give you five ways to know if your core muscles need work as part of the Centra Restart Challenge:


 

1) Lower back pain

 

If the muscles in your lower back are not strong enough, it leaves the bones and discs in your spine not properly supported, which then causes pain in the muscles and tendons of your lower back. So any pain in that area is probably a sign that you need to strengthen your core so that your overall posture improves 

 

 

2) Poor posture when sitting or standing

 

Having a fully engaged core means that you sit up straight with your core holding your spine and pelvis in the correct position. Without it, you may be slumped when sitting and also while standing because your body is unstable. Slumping then strains your muscles and makes the situation worse.

 

It’s important to do good core work to keep your posture straight, even over long periods of time. 



Photo: Christopher Campbell

 

3) Poor balance

 

Your core muscles are central to stabilising your entire body. If the muscles in your trunk, lower back, stomach and bum area are strong, you will have no problem being able to balance on one leg for a period of time (60+ seconds) without wobbling or falling over.

 

If not, some core work is needed.

 

Join Centra's Restart 21-day core challenge here. #LiveWell
 

 

4) Being unable to hold a plank

 

A plank is when you start lying flat face down on the floor and then you lift yourself onto the top of your feet and elbows and hold a flat and still body position for a period of time. It engages your core muscles and will indicate if yours are fit and strong or not. The key to doing a good a plank is being able to hold your hips steady and not to shake. If you can’t last for 40-60 seconds, you need to strengthen your core!


A plank

 

 

5) You can’t do the hollowing test

 

The hollowing test is the easiest way to check if your core is strong and engaged or not. To do it, first you take a deep breath in. Then as you exhale, you pull your stomach back and inwards towards your spine as much as you can. If you can hold this hollowed pose for 10 seconds or so, your core is all good! If not, try some of these top core strengthening tips from Pat Divilly as part of the Centra Restart Core Challenge.

 

Read about Outsider’s five reasons that having a great core rocks.


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5 key signs of a weak core

It’s easy to forget how important the core is in fitness when you’re busy going to spin classes, heading into the hills for a run or working hard to try to shift some weight. Here, we bring you 5 tips to spot if your core needs work as part of the Centra Restart Challenge

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