Strong core strength will help you build a strong core. A strong core helps in almost every physical activity, from holding your body upright while walking or running to lifting and jumping activities. Weak core muscles can cause poor posture, injuries and reduce overall athletic efficiency.
To avoid weak core strength, it is essential to know the core muscles. The core includes all the muscles in your spinal column as well as parts of the abdomen and hips that support your spine. These core muscles have diverse functions including controlling posture, stabilizing joints, and providing support during movement. A strong core helps with overall muscle tone throughout the core region.
The core muscles can be divided into two groups: the core front muscles and the core back muscles. The muscles at the front of your body include your pubic area, abdominal region (transversus abdominis), and lower abdomen (obliques).). These core muscles help to strengthen your core when you contract them together. Common core back muscles include your lower back (lumbopelvic core), stomach (solar plexus), and middle spine to lower spine (erector spinae). When you contract these core muscles, they provide stabilization as well as help with pressure relief.
In this article, we will discuss the ten weak core signs and how to fix them.
Signs and Symptoms of a Weak Core Strength
1. You Experience Pain in Your Lower Back
Pain in the lower back is one of the common weak core signs. A strong core will support your spine and help prevent injuries to it. However, weak core muscles may cause you to develop a swayback posture which can cause discomfort or pain in your lower back.
2. You Lack Power and Stability in Your Upper Body Strength
A weak core will make it difficult to do pull-ups and other upper body exercises and sports like weightlifting, throwing a ball, or swinging a bat. This is because core muscles help stabilize your core which provides the foundation for power in your upper body. Weak core muscles may also lead to overuse injuries as you try harder to compensate for core weakness.
3. You Lie on the Floor and Feel Like Your Spine is Sagging
This core strength test involves lying on the floor with your knees bent, hands down at your side, and your spine resting on an imaginary line. If your core muscles are weak, you will find yourself sagging towards the ground. Picture a clothesline that is sagging under the weight of wet, heavy clothes. A strong core will allow you to lay on a flat surface without sagging much.
4. When You Bend Over, Your Stomach is Sticking Out More Than Usual
If you have weak core muscles, you may even find that your stomach sticks out further than your chest. This core strength sign is an indication of loss of core tone and a weak core. This core strength sign can be caused by core muscle weakness, pregnancy, or an increase in body fat around your core.
5. You Feel Your Back and Shoulders Sagging and Tightening up During Weight Lifting
When core muscles are weak, you will need to use your back muscles (erector spinae) to help keep your core stable. This can lead to back pain and poor scapular movement. It can also cause your shoulders to tighten up when you lift.
6. You Have Difficulty Standing Up From a Squatting Position Without Using Your Hands for Support
A sign of a weak core can be that you have difficulty squatting. This is because core muscles help to support the spine while squatting and without them, it may be difficult or painful to do so.
7. You lack Balance and Stability in Your Lower Body Strength and Coordination
A strong core will help support your lower body strength by providing a stable base on which your core and upper body work together. Weak core muscles may cause poor coordination and balance. Weak core muscles can also make it more difficult for you to do core stability exercises such as the plank.
8. You Experience Pain in Your Lower Abdomen or Back
Pain in your core muscles can be a sign that your core is weak and needs strengthening. This pain may occur in your lower abdomen or back muscles.
9. You Have Difficulty Walking Upright Without Swaying Towards One Side or the Other
A strong core will allow you to walk upright without your hips or upper body swaying side-to-side. A weak core may cause poor posture and also make it difficult to balance when your core muscles are not strong enough.
10. You Have Difficulty With Everyday Tasks That Require Core Strength
A weak core will make it difficult to carry out core stability exercises such as lifting a child, carrying a bag of groceries, or holding a box in your arms. It can also make everyday core strength activities like paddling a kayak, playing with your kids, and walking up the stairs difficult.
It is your core muscles that help keep your spine stable and working well so you can do the activities of daily living without experiencing pain or discomfort.
Core stability exercises will strengthen core muscles making it possible to perform core strengthening tasks more easily and with less stress on your body.
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5 Exercises that Will Strengthen Your Core Muscles:
Here are some core strength exercises that will strengthen the core muscles:
A plank is one of the best core-strengthening exercises. It works on the entire core by challenging your abdominal, lower back, and shoulder muscles. Your core works to support your spine while holding a plank.
- Rest your forearms on the floor with your elbows directly underneath your shoulders and hands facing forward so that you form a ninety-degree angle.
- This position requires you to keep your back straight, and balance on the balls of your feet and on your elbows.
- Make sure your head, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles are aligned in a straight line.
- Keep your lower back from arching and hold the position.
2. Ab Wheel Rollout
Ab wheel rollouts are one of the best exercises for a strong core. The exercise strengthens your abs, shoulders, and arms while simultaneously burning fat from all over your body.
This exercise will work 20 different muscles all at once, which includes more than just your abs because you will need to tense up other major muscle groups in order to succeed with this exercise.
- Put both of your hands on the ab roller and kneel on the floor.
- Place the ab roller in front of you. Slowly roll the ab roller out as you stretch your body into a straight position.
- After the pause, start to move back to the starting position.
3. Hanging Knee/Leg Raises
These core strengthening exercises are also one of the best core workouts because they strengthen your abs, lower back, and hip flexor muscles by working them all at once.
- Hang from a pull-up bar or gymnastic rings with your body in a straight line and use an overhand grip.
- Bend your knees and use your lower abs to raise your legs. Your thighs should be parallel to the ground when they are at their highest point. Lower them under control back to the starting position.
- The best way to strengthen your core is by performing high-rep sets which will tire the muscle out. The slower you move each rep, under complete control, the better results and speed of those results.
If you want to make this exercise more comfortable for you, you can use a pair of ab straps that you can use to support yourself. By using these hanging ab straps, your focus will entirely be on engaging your core and getting a core workout.
4. V Sit Ups
V-sit exercises are a great way to strengthen your core by working multiple areas of the core simultaneously. In this exercise, you form the letter V with your legs and torso. If you are a beginner, you can use your hands to help. You can also do this with bent legs. The exercise is also a good addition to intermediate-level abdominal and core workouts.
- Begin by contracting your abdominal muscles and try and tense up the core. Slowly raise your legs up to a 45-degree angle with your torso.
- Reach your arms forward or toward your shins as you are able. Make it a point to keep good posture with your spine and avoid rounding the shoulders. Do not hold your breath throughout the motion—continue to breathe deeply as well.
- Hold this V-shape for a few seconds if you are a beginner. When you are strong, hold it for a longer time.
- Keep your abs engaged and return to your starting position slowly.
If you are a beginner or have low back problems or simply want to do this exercise comfortably, try using an ab mat. This tool is a covered piece of foam made specifically to support your spine, providing the perfect angle to work out.
5. Slider Knee Tucks
Core sliders are useful core strengthening tools that are simple, easy to use, and improve core strength. They also help core exercises become more challenging by moving the feet closer or further away from the core.
Multiple studies have shown that core sliders can be used for rehabilitating patients who suffered recent back injuries as they are able to strengthen core muscles without putting a lot of force on the spine. Sliders can also be used for core exercises that strengthen core muscles while putting less stress and strain on joints like knees and hips.
- From a high plank position with both feet on sliders, brace your core muscles and pull both feet in toward your chest.
- Avoid allowing your shoulders to hunch and lean inward, as doing so will hinder the effectiveness of the core stability exercise.
- Slowly push your feet back to go to the plan starting position.
Core exercises are essential to living a healthier, more active lifestyle. When core muscles become weak, it can result in lower back pain. Core exercises help strengthen core muscles and prevent injuries by keeping core stability strong. If you want to build core strength and core endurance, make sure you incorporate core strengthening exercises into your fitness routine.