1. A healthy back

Low back pain can become debilitating in time if you don’t focus on solving the issue. It is usually the result of having weak abdominal muscles and overly strong back muscles, but exercise that help strengthen your core muscles will bring balance to the front and back of your body and get rid of the pain. People that spend a lot of time at a desk usually have low back pain as well, since they arch their back and tilt their pelvis to sit more comfortably. A first step would be to focus on keeping your back straight, followed by a simple core exercise that you can do at work: while sitting in your chair draw in your abdominal muscles, hold for five breathes, release and repeat.

2. Good posture

You will have no trouble carrying yourself with confidence if you have a strong core. Weak core muscles contribute to slouching, to the wear and tear of your spine and they keep you from talking a deep, full breath. Good posture benefits an efficient exercise routine and has the added value of taking pressure off your lower back and trimming your figure.

3. Running

Core exercises are a staple for competitive runners, and there’s no reason why the rest of us shouldn’t take a page out of their book. A strong core will help you take in more oxygen with every breath and help you balance your steps while running on uneven terrain. The stability a strong core offers allows you to move in any direction and prevent you from risking injury from a fall.

4. Lifting

If you want to add those extra 20 kg on your squat bar or keep increasing your deadlift load, you need to have strong core muscles in order to sustain a proper form and protect yourself from injury. Even if you don’t strength train, you still lift objects when you carry luggage or grocery bags or take out the trash. You don’t need to be a power lifter to injure your back when your core muscles and weak.

If you want to feel extra motivated to start a workout routine that targets your core muscles, think of the added perk of having a supple abdomen, and maybe even a six pack (provided you do some work in the kitchen as well). Just make sure you don’t overwork your abdominal muscles and overlook your back muscles. Balance is the key to athletic prowess and a strong core is all about balance.

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