How strong are your core muscles really?

How strong are your core muscles really?

It should be common knowledge by now how important our core muscles are. Without sufficiently strong abdominal and back muscles, there is no optimal fitness. Back pain is also pre-programmed if the core muscles are not strong enough. Therefore, here are 6 tips that show how strong your core muscles really are.

A strong core as a foundation

A strong core is a foundation for countless movements. Not only when you do your fitness program, but also in everyday activities. In addition, sufficiently strong muscles in the middle of your body protect you from injuries. It’s important to note that the number of crunches or sit-ups you can do does not indicate how strong your core muscles are. Here are the clues that really tell the story.

Hint 1: Your posture

How do you sit at your desk? How do you stand when no one is watching you? Be honest with yourself. If you’re sitting in a reclined position or standing with your shoulders slouched, that’s always an indication that you need to work on your core muscles. A weak core has a direct impact on your posture. The simplest solution: when you sit or stand, keep pulling your abdominals in and tucking your shoulders back. You can’t do this all day, but it has a good training effect.

Hint 2: The stand-up test

A straightforward test with which you can test the strength of your core muscles is the stand-up test. To do this, stand up straight. Then lie backward on the floor and stand up again without too much momentum. But please do not use your hands. Here is the video:

Stans-up test (Video: Canva)

Hint 3: Posture during planks

Around 150 muscles are used in Planks. It is probably the best exercise to train the core. It is vital to keep a straight posture from head to heels. If your lower back sags after just a few seconds, this is an unmistakable sign that your core muscles are too weak. This also applies if you have to spread your feet far apart because your core cannot hold a narrower support surface.

Hint 4: You have to hold your breath

One of the biggest challenges in core training is controlled breathing. If you have to hold your breath after a short time during planks, this is due to weak muscles. By the way, the same applies to almost all other strength exercises.

Hint 5: Pain in the lower back

The fifth signal for weak core muscles is stiffness or pain in the lower back after an exercise. The reason for this is insufficient trunk stability. This puts more pressure on the spine and all surrounding segments. As a result, the muscles tense can become sore, and the whole area is also more prone to injury.

Hint 6: Problems with balance

Finally, here is an elementary test that will also help you assess your core strength:

  1. Take a stopwatch and stand upright.
  2. Close your eyes, press the stopwatch, and simultaneously lift one foot off the floor.
  3. Try to stand still on one leg for as long as possible.
  • If you lose your balance in less than 10 seconds, you still need to work on your core muscles.
  • Between 10 and 30 seconds is quite a good result.
  • Anything over 30 seconds is a good result.
  • It is optimal if you can still do exercises at the same time while standing on one leg or standing on an unstable object.
core muscles
With the one-leg stand you can check the strength of your core muscles (ⓒCanva)
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