Core fitness training is necessary for everyone.
In this post I am going to address core fitness. This is a very important topic for any athlete, however for Yoga it is even more important, since we use the core in many ways, not only in moving in and out of poses but also to hold poses.
A Strong and healthy core is the first thing you should start to train when getting into yoga. With a strong core you will notice ALL the yoga poses will be easier to do.
Core fitness training will enhance balance and stability. A strong core will improve your posture, it will improve functional movement, which is important to athletes, as well as anyone that needs to walk, bend, turn and lift things in their life, which is basically all of us. A strong core will also prevent back pain. Alot of people think that back pain is caused by a weak back. In most cases however weak abdominal muscles cause low back pain.
A strong core can also help you lift heavier loads. Whether you are lifting weights, packing heavy boxes or carrying the groceries into the house, if you have a weak core you are an accident waiting to happen. Take the time to strengthen your core and you will be a happier person.
What are the Core Muscles?
The core muscles are not only the abs, actually they include many muscles that work together to create a strong foundation in the body. Without this foundation you will never be able to utilize the full power of your arms and legs. It is very important that you include core fitness training in your yoga practice.
The muscles included in the core are:
- Rectus Abdominis – the muscles that make up the “six-pack”, located along the front of the abdomen.
- External Obliques – located on the sides and slightly in the front of the abdomen.
- Internal Obliques – located under the external obliques, they however run in the opposite direction.
- Transverse Abdominis (TVA) – These are located under the obliques, they are the deepest of the abdominal muscles and they also wrap around your spine for stability and protection.
- Erector Spinae- This group of three muscles travels down from your neck to your lower back.
- Hip Flexors – these are located in the front of the pelvis and upper thigh. there are several muscles that make up the Hip Flexors and they include: psoas major, illiacus, rectus femoris, pectineus, sartorius
- Gluteus medius and minimus – function together to pull the thigh away from midline of the body, or “abduct” the thigh.
- Gluteus maximus, hamstring group, piriformis – Support the pelvis, the trunk and also act upon the head of the femur; this is especially obvious in standing on one leg as in Tree Pose.
- Hip abductors – It’s primary functions are to abduct and laterally rotate the femur .