The core consists of different groups of muscles running from the top of our shoulders to our pelvis. Its function is to connect our four extremities by transferring energy from the upper body to the lower and visa-verses. So basically the core is involved in one way or another in just about every normal day activity that we do. So we can see why it is important to have a strong core – it makes everyday tasks easier to do.
But how do you know if your core is strong or not? Grab your smartphone (and possibly a friend) and record each of the two movements below and we’ll show you how to test your core strength.
The standard push-up is a great test because it proves how well different core muscle groups work together.
Start out by lying flat on your stomach, palms down underneath your shoulders. With your feet together push up into the plank position and release back down 3 times being sure to keep your back straight as a plank from your shoulders down to your feet.
Now review the video. If your back is sagging in the middle or arched upward, then your core needs some work. Shoulders, abs, pecs, back extensor and glutes all come into play when doing this move.
Concentrate on doing push-ups and exercises that mimic push-ups, such as planks and walkouts to strengthen your back.
This exercise tests balance, coordination, stability of the core when appendages are moving. Start out on all fours. At the same time raise and extend your left leg and right arm so they are pointing in opposite directions.
Now bring in the extended arm and leg until the elbow of your arm touches the knee of your leg. Now extend the left leg and right arm again. Do 3 complete repetitions. Now switch leg and arm and do 3 repetitions of that side.
In the video, look for a difference in time of when your leg and arm came off of the floor. It should have been at the same time. Where you able to keep your back level side to side? Were you equally steady on both sides or was one side weaker than the other?
By doing the two tests, reviewing the video and making the corrections, everyday tasks will become easier to do. Give yourself some time between making the corrections and doing the video recorded tests again. Although the second time around the tests should look better.