The body core; a series of muscles, including the Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip complex and the shoulder structures that make up the torso. It consists of the abdomen muscles, the hips, the spine, and the back muscles. These muscles act as body stabilisers and include the transverse abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, quadratus lumborum, rectus abdominis, and erector spinae.
The importance of core strength can never be understated. Strong core muscles make it easier to carry out physical activities. They also make it easier and safer to perform heavy and bilateral lifts, especially in manual handling.
Core exercises improve your balance and stability. Whether you are at the gym exercising, on the playing field or just performing your daily activities, the core muscles are always actively engaged. They provide support to your spine even when you are stationary helping reduce the strain placed on your spine. This is especially important for workers who maintain position for long periods of time.
On the contrary, weak core muscles predispose you to poor posture, muscle injuries and lower back pain.The best core strength exercises:
Planks are a simple exercise that is easy to master and ideal for beginners. However, this does not make it any less effective as it is one of the best core strength exercises available. To ensure you get the most out of your routine you can incorporate a number of plank variations into your routine. These include the three point planks and the side planks.
1. Swiss-Ball Twist:
Performing this exercise is easier than you may imagine. Feet flat on the floor, lie on the Swiss ball with your upper back and shoulder. Slowly rotate your shoulders to one side and stop when your arms are parallel to the floor. Pause, and then rotate to the other side.
3. Dead Bug:
Another excellent core strength and trunk stabilising exercise. To perform it, lie on your back with your arms extended in front of your shoulders. Bend your hips and knees to a 90-degree angle and raise your thighs until they are perpendicular to the floor.
Tighten your abdominal muscles and slowly lower your left arm and right leg to the floor. Exhale deeply as you do this and then slowly return to the starting position while inhaling. Repeat with your opposite arm and leg. Continue alternating. Not only with the exercise help improve core conditioning, but it will also help build stability in the hips and trunk.
A strong core will enhance your balance, body coordination and flexibility. It will also help you to perform more tasks with less effort and fatigue. With these core strength exercises, you will not only improve your lifting performance but also help you will risk of muscle and joint-related injuries.
Just remember that, when exercising the core, it’s always quality over quantity.
At Recovery Partners, our consultants can assist you by providing manual handling training to help minimise injuries in the workplace.
If you’re interested, you can get an instant quote as below or enquire online here. Alternatively, our consultants love to have a chat, so give us a call on 1300 OHS RTW (647 789).
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Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at www.workcover.nsw.au
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