Strong muscles in the core area around your trunk not only prevent persistent lower back pain and injuries, but they also keep you from falling over. As you age, you become more prone to imbalances and falls, but a strengthened core can help keep you upright.
Read on to learn more about the link between core strength and balance, plus the top three core exercises to improve your stability!
How Does Core Strength Affect Balance?
Core muscles are like a ship anchor, keeping you steady and balanced amidst the waves of movement and activity. Just as an anchor stabilises a ship in rough waters, a strong core stabilises your body, preventing you from tipping over or losing your balance. There are plenty of benefits of strengthening your core, including:
- Improved posture, stability, and balance
- Reduced risk of lower back pain and injury
- Improved pelvic stability
- Enhanced athletic performance and endurance
- Reduced risk of falls and injuries
- Ability to perform daily activities with ease
Core Exercises to Improve Balance
Static and dynamic balance both rely on core stability, making it a crucial component of your physical well-being. Your center of gravity is anchored by the muscles in your core, keeping you balanced whether you’re sitting, standing, or running.
Traditional exercises like crunches may not effectively enhance stability as they don’t activate other stabilising muscles in the body. So, here are three exercises that target your overall core strength and improve balance from a few different angles!
The plank is a great exercise for strengthening your core and improving your balance. To perform a plank, start in a push-up position with your arms straight and your hands shoulder-width apart. Engage your core, glutes, and legs, and hold the position for as long as you can. Try to keep your body in a straight line from head to heel. Perform this exercise one to six times per day, holding as long as you can.
2. Single-Leg Deadlift
The single-leg deadlift is a challenging exercise that targets your hamstrings, glutes, and core. Start by standing on one leg, with your knee slightly bent. Hinge forward at the hips and extend your other leg straight behind you, keeping your back straight and your core engaged. Lower your body until your hand touches the ground, then return to the starting position. Repeat six to 10 times on each leg.
If this is difficult, you can also perform this exercise on both legs. Alternatively, you can challenge both your core and balance with a simple single-leg stance. Aim to hold your balance on one leg for as long as you can, then try the other side!
3. Bird Dog
The bird dog exercise is a great way to strengthen your core and improve your balance at the same time. Start on your hands and knees, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
Keeping your back flat and your core engaged, extend your right arm and left leg straight out in front of you. Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite arm and leg. Do this two to three times a day, six to 10 times on each side.
Improve Your Core Stability With Our Strength and Balance Class
If you have a weak core or are struggling with balance or falls, physiotherapy and Exercise Physiology can help! Our experienced practitioners at Turramurra Sports & Spinal Physiotherapy can assist you in creating a core exercise routine specific to you. Contact us today to book your appointment, and never worry about falling off balance again!