How to Maintain your Core Strength in the Winter Period

 

running

You body’s core comprises the abdominal wall, the pelvis, the lower back and the diaphragm. Its key job is to stabilise your body during movement, particularly when you are lifting or taking part in sport.

When you have a strengthened core, not only does it help support your spine, but it also helps with balance. People who have a strong core will find sports like skiing and advanced poses in yoga much easier to perform. All the muscles of the core are also connected to your legs and upper body, so how you sit, stand and move in any direction will be affected. Your core strength helps to support your body weight which means less stress is put on your bones, tendons and ligaments.

Over the winter months we might find ourselves less active generally, and it is easy to quickly lose condition in these core muscles and to let your fitness lapse. If you allow your core strength to lessen however, you can leave yourself open to injury, both in your everyday life and when you come to ramp up your involvement in sport again in the spring. The following activities are easy to maintain over the winter months and will all help retain your core strength.

Jiu-Jitsu

Jiu-Jitsu
This form of martial art is an excellent way to build core strength. The series of fluid movements involved in the sport require tension and pressure to be applied from a multitude of angles. This works the core muscles whilst developing the strength needed to interact with your opponent during a sparring session.

As Watford GJJ highlights, Jiu-Jitsu is also a way for anyone, male, female or child to build their confidence and enhance their ability to stay safe. It is an all-round form of exercise which offers the additional benefit that you can train indoors over the winter months.

Swimming

swimming

Swimming is another activity that is appealing during winter, especially as it means you can spend some time in a nice indoor heated pool. Swimming works all the body’s muscles at the same time, and this naturally leads to a strengthening of the core. A pool based workout is additionally challenging because the water provides resistance, resistance which helps you to strengthen your muscles. To move through the water effectively involves the hip, back and abdominal muscles, namely the core.

It is particularly important to get form and technique correct when you are in the water, as swim specialists Mailsports are only too aware. If your head is not under the water during the execution of some swimming strokes, you can be adding additional strain to your neck or other muscle groups, including weakening the core. Therefore, if you feel your swimming technique is below par on certain strokes, it is worth investing in a few swimming lessons. In addition, if you are not keen on chlorinated water, ensure you wear goggles and earplugs.

Pilates

plank exercise

Pilates is probably the key way to develop core strength and in the process lengthen muscles and gain flexibility. The NHS offers a guide to Pilates including: its benefits, how to choose a class and whether back pain can be eased by regular practice.

Another emphasis of Pilates is combining correct spinal and pelvic alignment with proper breathing. It is essential to learn to carry out a Pilate’s workout in a smooth, flowing motion. The quality of repetitions is valued above the quantity, and in order for you to retain correct form, learning to breathe in a controlled way is vital.

All of these forms of exercise are also good at relieving stress, and a relaxed body, with reduced muscle tension, leads to fewer injuries and less pain.

Indoor Workouts

press-ups

Sometimes the more affordable and convenient option is to workout in your own home. It’s financially beneficial and there are an abundance of workouts online you can access for your home environment.

When trying to strengthen your core, adopting traditional exercises is the far more effective option. Press ups, sit ups and planks are just a few of the movements you can perform with helpful guides found online. Trying to maintain the position where your core is getting worked on is hard but performing these exercises in your home comfort makes the process a touch easier.

 

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My name is Helen Wallis and I’m an active writer in the health and fitness field.

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