With the majority of muscles in your body, it is relatively easy to determine whether they are weak or not. This weakness can make reference to bilateral difference or an overall muscular weakness of a particular muscle region.
The same cannot necessarily be said for your core muscles. If you were asked is your chest weak, you’d probably be able to give a detailed and efficient answer. Now what if you were asked the same of your core muscles? Do you even know what your core muscles consist of? If you don’t, then fear not because here at FitnessBeans we are here to help.
For starters there’s more to your core muscles than just your abdominals. Abdominals do make up a section of the core, but are by no means the be all and end all when it comes to your core section. Also included are the muscles of your lower back, your gluteals and to a lesser extent your hip musculature to name but a few.
Now that that’s cleared up, we’ll move on to the tell tale signs of a weakened core region, starting with posture;
Poor posture is often a key indicator of a weakened core region. Quite simply, the muscles mentioned above that make up your core are also responsible for stabilising your spine and maintaining your pelvis in a neutral position. This in turn has a knock on effect higher up the chain at your upper back and shoulder complex region. If any of these core muscles are weakened for whatever reason, then your ability to maintain correct posture is strongly hampered. Ultimately, this can result in an all too common slouch.
Poor posture leads nicely onto lower back pain, which is a further sign of a weak core. Often interlinked, any alteration in your spine as a result of poor posture can inevitably create problems with your vertebrae, disks and facets. The surrounding muscles, tendons and ligaments can also be severely affected. This creates pressure changes and the end result is often lower back pain. It also makes you prone to injury.
Another tell tale sign of weakened core muscles is an inability to effectively hollow. Hollowing involves taking a natural breath in and as you begin to exhale, simultaneously pull your belly button in towards your spine. This should then be for a count of ten seconds. An inability to complete this relatively straight forward task indicates a weakened core.
Last but by no means least and often the most important to many, a weakened core can result in an overall weakness. The reason for this is during activities such as weight lifting, regardless of the target region, the core is required as a foundation to transfer force. If the core is weakened, for whatever reason, then some of this force is lost, resulting in weaker movements elsewhere along the kinetic chain.
This article provides you with the ability to self diagnose a weakened core. Should one or more of the above signs be present in your body then it’s time to do something about it. As with all muscles, a weakened core can be rectified through a combination of hard work and exercise. With all this in mind, why not assess your core strength today.