Strong to the Core

Every time we move, we depend on certain muscles to hold us steady, and other muscles to actually perform movement.  Core stabilization is the general term used to describe how the muscles of your trunk keep your spine and body stable. This helps with balance and provides benefits for everyone, from the deconditioned individual to professional athletes. Exercises for core stabilization can be part of every conditioning program, along with flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular training.


If your core is strong and the muscles are recruited and used properly:


  • Your posture is better.
  • Your body is balanced.
  • Your movement is more efficient and powerful.
  • You may be less likely to be injured.


Winter is the perfect time to work on strengthening your core muscles–including the abs, back, and pelvis.  Because you can perform these simple exercises in the comfort of your own home, you will dodge the need for massive electricity usage, automotive transportation, and a heap of new exercise gear!  Strengthening core muscles now will make it easier to enjoy recreational activites in the spring.  Perform core exercises on a carpeted floor or mat. Breathe freely and deeply during each exercise. Focus on tightening your transversus abdominis (the deepest abdominal muscle) during each exercise. This is the muscle you feel contracting when you cough.  




Place your body in a straight line lying on your right side.  Place your right forearm on the floor and bend your right knee so that your foot is behind you.  Press yourself up and balcance on your forearm and side of your bottom knee.  Take care not to "fall into" your bottom shoulder.




When you are ready to progress and increase the intensity of this exercise, straighten both legs and place your right hand on the floor.  Keep your shoulders down and naval in. 


Repeat the side plank core exercises five times. Gradually build up to 10 to 15 repetitions as your strength improves.


Learn more about Stacy Walters, RKT at


More articles by Stacy


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