For years, experts have touted how important your core is for performance, but some athletes don’t give their core the respect it deserves. Often, people associate core workouts with simply ab routines or Pilates and don’t understand what their core is or how it affects their performance. If you’re an athlete who needs the power to perform, hold your body position for a long time, or need to quickly shift your weight smoothly, you need to incorporate core strength as often as possible.
This post informs you of just how much your core affects your performance and how you can maximize your core strength to give yourself a competitive edge. To develop core strength, you have to be willing to work, and when you develop a regimen that hits your core, you will need clothing that enhances your performance. Solid gym athletic wear that allows you a full range of motion will be a vital part of your core routine.
What Is Core Stability and Core Strength?
Core stability is not the same thing as core strength, although many people use them interchangeably. You need both core stability and core strength because they both work together to enhance your athletic performance as well as everyday movements. Core stability refers to maintaining balance and a stable posture without falling over. Core strength, on the other hand, helps you make powerful movements. If you want to make powerful, coordinated movements, you need both core strength and stability.
Your core moves in three planes—one plane gives you forward and backward movement, one plane offers rotational movement, and the third allows you to move from side to side. So when you have a stable core, you keep your body in healthy alignment. Healthy alignment refers to how the muscles of your core stabilize your joints so that you can move forcefully in all three planes of movement. You can increase and strengthen this healthy alignment allowing you to generate more power from your core while not increasing your risk for injury.
Because your body can move in so many directions, core stability enables you to move in different directions and utilize complex movements while ensuring that your muscles are evenly balanced, sharing the load. Core strength allows you to make these movements while protecting your spine and joints from overload.
So you need to add enhanced core workouts to your regimen, workouts that include core strength, flexibility, and mobility. However, because core workouts focused on increasing stability and strength require a wide range of motion, you need to be prepared by gearing up with the best gym athletic wear to make these movements.
Benefits of Core Stability and Strength
A great-looking midsection is merely a side benefit—albeit a good one—to a solid, consistent core routine. Even if you’re not a competitive athlete, focusing on core stability can offer benefits you feel every day. For the athlete, you will notice the everyday benefits as well as how they translate to your sport-specific movements.
Consider all the movements you make on the field or in and around your home. Whether you’re kicking, jumping, or throwing, or whether you’re carrying groceries, lifting children, or doing yardwork, your core muscles take center stage to power those movements. Your body can be thought of as a powerhouse of energy. Just like a distribution substation takes electricity from the grid and sends it to your home to make the lights turn on at the flip of a switch, your core stabilizes muscles in your pelvis and spine to transfer energy from the core of your body out. The stronger your core, the more power you send to your extremities.
A large part of sports is coordination. Think of the drills you do consistently—those build coordination and muscle memory while teaching technical skills. If you enhance your workouts by incorporating more core stability, you will build up weak areas and be able to maximize your power while performing complex movements. Whether you have to cut back on the football field or pivot on a court, whether you have to keep your body in a streamline position to swim, or whether you need to transfer power through your arm to swing, throw, or shoot a ball, the stronger your core, the better you can perform those tasks.
The main benefits of building core strength and stability include:
- Performing complex movements with force without overloading joints: It doesn’t matter whether you’re an athlete or not, everyone needs the ability to safely move without damaging their joints in the process. Your spine and joints have cushions between them to absorb impact, but if you don’t have your body in proper alignment, your joints can’t utilize their built-in shock absorbers, leaving you at risk for injury.
- Reducing your risk of falling because of increased balance: While this benefit may seem like it’s for the uncoordinated, nonathletic person, consider your sport-specific movements. Each of those complex movements requires enhanced balance and coordination so that you move exactly as anticipated, often moving part of your body one way and part of your body the other.
- Transferring power to your extremities while holding body position: Many sports require you to move subtly, powerfully, and quickly without telegraphing your movement. You can’t put those elements together with finesse without core strength and stability. To make those kinds of movements, you have to be able to transfer power while holding your position, like pivoting, cutting back, swinging to hit a volleyball, swimming through the water, and a myriad of other vital movements in sports.
- Keeping muscles balanced to reduce the risk of injury: When you consistently work on core strength and stability, you will target weaker muscles, helping them to get stronger. In doing so, you will keep your muscles balanced—you won’t overcompensate movements and imbalance the use of your muscles. When you don’t balance the load, you risk overloading the muscles you’re relying on as well as overloading the joints, leaving you prone to injury.
A body with core stability and strength is a balanced, powerful body that can take complex movements to the next level. When you incorporate more core-enhancing tasks into your workout, be sure to support your moves with the best gym athletic wear, made by athletes for athletes. When you work out with BodCraft, you know you have quality clothes that give you the room to move and the comfort to give it your all.