Why core strength matters and how to get it in 5 minutes

Your core performs five types of tasks for you daily. That’s a lot of multi-tasking being handled by three muscle groups — those in your abdominal, back and pelvis area.

It’s an area you see a lot written about in fitness and here’s why: A strong core does more than give you nice abs… Your core is like a tree trunk. It grounds you while you do just about anything — and helps the rest of your body move better.  It enhances balance and stability. It helps prevent falls and injuries… and can help keep you strong and independent.

That’s also why it’s important to perform a potluck of exercise each time you work your core to optimize its strength and endurance to keep these muscles on task.

Unfortunately, there’s one type of core exercise that is way overdone — yet, it’s the least needed of the core exercises. It’s forward flexion, most commonly done as crunches and sit-ups. What’s worse, this common exercise can cause more harm than good.

For that reason, leaving forward flexion out of your exercise selection to emphasize the other tasks your core does can help enhance your overall core strength and endurance. After all, if you’re fixated over a keyboard too much you can probably benefit from back extension and stabilization most. You are already excellent at forward flexion.

Try the following categories of core strength exercise to enhance the work your core does daily. Always check with a physician before attempting any new exercise program, especially if you have a current injury. Watch the exercises first before you try.

Stabilization: plank

Back Extension: skydiver, prone leg lift

Rotation: tootsie roll

Lateral Flexion: side lying leg series



Debra Atkinson

By Debra Atkinson

Debra Atkinson Is the founder of the Flipping 50 movement and host of the Flipping 50 podcast and TV show available on your iphone, ipad, and Apple TV. She is the author of four books including You Still Got It, Girl! The After 50 Fitness Formula For Women and Navigating Fitness After 50: Your GPS For Choosing Programs and Professionals You Can Trust.

Debra is a contributing blogger on the Huffington Post, ShareCare, Prime Woman, and Livingbetter50. She provides solutions for women approaching 50 or who have already turned the corner on what to eat, how to move, and the mindset for lifestyle change with hormone balance that will make the next years as the best years. Find her resources here.