With summer right around the corner, there is no time better than now to find fun new things to do and start getting in shape. Exercise is something many people like to do to both get fit, feel great, and have a good time. Everyone has a different idea of what they enjoy doing for exercise, but there is one type of exercise that everyone can benefit from: core strengthening. Core strengthening exercise is any exercise that works out the mid-section of your body in the area ranging from your hips to shoulders. These workouts can include sit ups, push ups, planks, and many more.
Core exercise is especially beneficial to athletes who want to improve their physical performance in their sport. San Marcos High School sophomore Claire Bjork participates in cross-country and horseback-riding and feels that a strong core is important for staying healthy and racing well. Bjork balances a busy schedule but finds time for exercise.
“Core helps with posture keeping your shoulders back thus allowing your lungs to open,” said Bjork.
By working out muscles in the hips, back, abdomen, and chest, a strong core improves balance and stability, assists with muscle coordination, and prevents injuries. Core exercise trains your muscles and different parts of your body to work together so coordination between muscles increases. This allows for your leg and arm muscles to perform more efficiently for running or throwing a ball. Often, athletes can have muscles that may be either overworked or underworked due to the stresses put on your body though sports. This imbalance can lead to injuries especially in the knees and feet. Doing core workouts will help even things out and lessen the likelihood of getting these types of injuries.
Another San Marcos student, senior Walker Odell does core workouts regularly and believes it will help him become a faster track and cross-country runner.
“Core is extraordinarily influential in the development of an athlete,” said Odell.
Odell is a highly competitive athlete and plans to run for Babson College and has qualified and ran in CIF in track.
Core workouts can be important not only to athletes, but to singers and musicians. Many wouldn’t expect that being physically in shape would be necessary to these performers, but the benefits of having strong core are essential to performing artists. San Marcos sophomore Eric Herendeen is a member of the school’s marching band, as well as the track team, and often enjoys core workouts.
“Core helps me stabilize my body for marching band,” said Herendeen.
In performing groups such as marching band it is important to maintain good posture and have strong lungs to play your instrument well. Strong lungs are also essential for performing arts that involve singing in order to project your voice. These type of performers are often required by their instructor or teacher to do certain exercises.
“The stronger your diaphragm and breath control, the better your voice dynamics,” said former actress and counselor Mrs. Clayton.
Even for those who do not have a specific activity that would require them to have a strong core should still consider doing core exercises because there are benefits for everyone. Many people do core simply for the good look their body gets from it. Doing core workouts enhances your back, abs, and chest muscles for a healthy and strong looking body. According to Harvard Health Publications from Harvard Medical school, many everyday tasks rely on your core including “bending to put on shoes or scoop up a package, turning to look behind you, sitting in a chair, or simply standing still.” Those who have a weak or inflexible core may have a harder time doing these tasks and can also be prone to injuries and health problems throughout their entire body.
Core exercises are something you can do almost anywhere and either alone or in a group. For people who are multitaskers, doing core exercise while watching TV can be a fun and quick way to get in shape. It can be a social and fun thing to enjoy in groups so you and your friends can get in shape together.
“My favorite core exercise is the plank because its fun to do in a group to see who can hold it the longest before they fall down,” said Herendeen.
Plank is a popular core exercise in which the person is holding their self up on their knees and toes keeping their body parallel to the ground like a plank of wood. Another common exercise are oblique twists (or Russian twists) in which you lean back and lift up your feet while sitting on the ground then twist from side to side touching your hand to the ground on each side. Pushups and situps are good core exercises that everyone can learn to do. Additionally, there are many other types of exercises to choose from and they can be found online, through a coach or friend, in workout videos, and people can even invent a new one on their own.
Whether you are an athlete, performer, or someone looking to get fit and have fun, core strengthening exercise is a worthwhile and beneficial thing to do.