A lot of people come to me looking for help to strengthen their weak core. This is a great fitness and strength objective because having core strength is critically important! Core muscles get used in every movement and action we perform throughout the day. Our core is working when we stand up, sit down, walk, bend over or lift anything. Essentially, all body movements require engaging the core muscles to some degree.
I’ve stressed the importance of having a strong core in a few earlier blogs. As always, it’s important to educate yourself with the muscles that encompass your core, as the ‘core’ included more muscles than just your abdominals.
4 Common Symptoms of a Weak Core
If you have a weak core, here are some of the symptoms you may be experiencing:
- Incontinence: The “inability to control urination” while coughing, sneezing, laughing, or even walking, can be due to having weak core muscles. Women are twice as likely to be faced with this condition. This is not a ‘normal’ condition to have, strengthening your core can often eliminate this condition.
- Back, hip or knee pain: The low back is a common area of consistent pain due to weak core muscles. When the muscles surrounding the spine are weak, the discs of your spine won’t be properly supported. Ab and low back muscles also work to hold your pelvis in place. If you have a weak core, sitting or standing with proper posture for long periods of time is difficult. A slumped over position becomes normal for you, which can in turn, strain your muscles causing pain.
- Poor balance, that gets better when you empty your bladder: Because core muscles stabilize your whole body and help hold you upright, when these muscles are weak, balancing becomes difficult. Test your balance by standing on one foot. Try holding a nice and tall position for at least 30 seconds on each side. If you can’t do this, you may want to have your core strength tested by a fitness professional.
- Breathing issues: If you’re unable to take nice, deep breaths, and you find yourself breathing shallowly into your lunges only, this may be due to a weak core. Ensuring that you’re able to perform belly breathing is a great core test.
How Does the Pelvic Floor Impact Core Strength?
Pelvic floor strength is very important for both females and males, as the pelvic floor is the bottom section of our core region. Here are some reasons the pelvic floor may be weak:
- Child birth. A vaginal child birth can strain and stretch the muscles around your pelvic floor, leading to weaknesses.
- Weak glutes. Your glutes (butt muscles) and pelvic floor muscles work very closely together. When one is weak, the other is often weak as well
- Poor posture. If, when you try standing tall, you push your hips out in front of you and feel an excessively arched back, this could be due to limited pelvic floor strength. You don’t work your core muscles as much in this posture, so this position can also lead to a weaker core over time.
What do I Do to Strengthen my Weak Core and Pelvic Floor?
Like any muscle group, it’s critical to exercise all core and pelvic floor muscles, to strengthen the region. Kegal exercises don’t work for everyone. I’ll share with you in my next blog, my favourite exercises I use all of the time to get the core muscles firing, and to continue to build up their strength.
To Sum it up…a Weak Core Can Cause you Problems
Aiming to strengthen a weak core, is a great fitness and strength objective, as core strength is critically important. These muscles are used in almost any position we perform throughout the day. Incontinence, back, hip or knee pain, poor balance and breathing issues are some common ways you can tell if you’re core is weak. If you are experiencing weakness, be sure to checkout my next blog where I will examine how to increase total core, including the pelvic floor, strength.
Core Without Crunches, Bellies Inc., 2018 Seminar