A comprehensive fitness program never fails to underscore the importance of core exercises.
However, many people often forego abdominal workouts in favor of strengthening their chest and forearms. Others believe that their form is sound, only to injure or work some other part of their body instead.
But hold on a minute. Why is your core so essential to strengthen in the first place?
A solid core is helpful because it facilitates spine movement and allows you to perform daily activities more efficiently. Posture and breathing are some notable perks of a strong core, but there’s more to it than that. For sexual health specifically, health pelvic floor muscles support stronger and longer lasting intimate moments in the bedroom.
So, how do you strengthen your core, and what other reasons are there to strengthen this part of your body?
Let’s look into the facts about core strength.
Which Muscles Make up the Core?
Located beneath the diaphragm and above the pelvic floor, the core is a group of muscles that help stabilize the hips and spine.
The core covers a large section of the body and helps promote the movement of the upper body, left arm, and right arm.
Specifically, the core consists of the following parts:
- Abdominals: Colloquially known as abs, the abdominal muscles help stabilize internal organs. They’re also associated with the elusive six packs.
- Obliques: Obliques extend diagonally from the ribs and help with the trunk’s rotational motion. There are three types of obliques—transverse obliques, internal obliques, and external obliques.
- Pelvic floor: These muscles support vital organs and help with sexual health, hip stabilization, bowel movements, and urination.
- Spine: Consists of back muscles like the multifidus and erector spinae that promote a healthy, erect posture.
Other than these muscles, hip muscles such as glutes, hamstrings, quads, and the diaphragm are also part of the core.
Why is Strengthening the Core Essential?
Having a well-built core isn’t merely an aesthetic upgrade—almost every activity requires the use of core muscles. As such, our core should be well-defined and well-maintained for us to perform these activities efficiently.
Specifically, some of these advantages include:
- Strengthens body posture: The muscles attached to the spine help keep you upright. If you have a desk job, building your core prevents you from hunching over.
- Improves balance and stability: While poor balance may be due to health conditions, medications, or aging, it can also be a result of a disengaged core. Daily core exercises like crunches can improve balance and stability, which consequently improves quality of life.
- Prevents back pain: A weakened core might lead to neck, hip, and back pain. The intensity of pain can increase if untreated, negatively affecting the body’s mobility and worsening male health issues.
- Eases everyday tasks: Almost every task we perform—from bending, sitting, and standing to bathing and dressing—involves the core. If your back muscles feel stiff and sore, working on strengthening your core can help alleviate stress in your lower back.
5 Ways to Effectively Strengthen Your Core
Any exercise that simultaneously works the back and stomach muscles is considered a core exercise.
Here are the five best core exercises for engaging your deep core muscles.
1. Leg Raises
Leg raises are a beginner-friendly exercise that trains your abdominals, hips, and obliques. Doing this 20 times per set and 3 sets with 20 seconds of rest in between will efficiently build your core.
To do it, read through the steps below:
- Lie down flat on the floor, with your legs raised at 90 degrees while your feet are tucked together.
- Keep your arms by your sides with your chin tucked in.
- Engage your core and slowly lower your legs. Refrain from touching the floor.
- Return to the initial position.
- Repeat 3-4, breathing on the way down and exhaling on the way up.
2. Ankle Touches
Another beginner-friendly core exercise is ankle touches. A simple routine consists of 30 reps per set, 15 times on each side, with 3 sets and 20 second-breaks between sets.
To perform this exercise:
- Lie flat on your back with bent knees and arms straight by your side.
- Lift your upper back and head with your chin tucked in. Keep your spine neutral.
- Slowly reach the right heel with your right hand using oblique muscles to bend.
- Return to the starting position and repeat the same with the left side.
To make this easier, bring your heels closer to your butt. If you want an added challenge, move your heels further away.
The routine is fairly simple:
- Take a position on all fours, with hands below your shoulders and knees below your hips.
- Straighten your legs keeping your feet hip-width apart. Engage your core.
- Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds and repeat it 3 to 5 times.
The plank is an umbrella term of many varieties. Different planks may be more suitable based on your fitness level and strength.
Some of the common ones include:
- Forearm plank
- High plank
- Plank with shoulder tap
- Knee jack plank
4. Kegel Exercises
Kegels are another great way to strengthen your ab muscles. They can be done at any time, and they’re highly effective in stabilizing the pelvic floor region—namely the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum.
If you notice an inability to sneeze, laugh, or cough without leaking urine, incorporating pelvic floor muscle training into your exercise routine can reduce the severity of pelvic organ prolapse symptoms.
Here’s how to do it:
- Begin by lying flat with your knees bent and feet flat
- While you exhale, pull your belly button to your spine, quickly contract for one second, and then release your pelvic floor muscles.
- Keep your breath steady throughout. Repeat the exercise 10 times per set and 3 sets with 10 seconds of rest.
Kegels aren’t only good for abdominal exercises, but they also help you activate your muscles faster.
Weak pelvic floor muscles, on the other hand, can indicate poor sexual health. Contact your doctor for more information and a specialized treatment plan such as acoustic wave therapy.
Yoga is an often overlooked way to strengthen your core muscle groups, but it’s a highly effective one.
For instance, the dolphin pose works both superficial and deep muscle groups, all while simultaneously lengthening the spine.
Besides its core-boosting attributes, yoga also offers other health benefits such as stress relief, improved flexibility, and lower back pain relief.
To determine whether yoga is safe for you, consult a physician for further evaluation.
Contact Cincinnati’s Leading Men’s Sexual Health Clinic to Combat Sexual Health Problems Due to a Weak Core
Core muscles are some of the most critical muscles in your body. And it’s not only for eye candy.
Strengthening the core helps build strength, balance, and stability. It helps keep the organs in your body stable and provides better protection.
The medical professionals at men’s health clinic Proactive Men’s Medical Center specialize in treating conditions that impact men’s health. Our concierge approach positions your unique case at the centerpoint of our focus. We don’t just give you a pill and send you on your way. We treat the underlying issues that led to conditions such as Erectile Dysfunction, PE, Low Testosterone, and more. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.