Strengthen Your Core With 5 Simple Exercises (ZT)
From VOA Learning English, this is the Health and Lifestyle report.
Your core is a complex network of muscles. It includes your abdominal muscles, back muscles and the muscles around you pelvis. Basically, your core is all the muscles in your torso.
Harvard University’s website explains that a strong core is helpful for everyone. A strong core makes doing everyday activities easier. Basically, almost every movement of your body either begins or travels through your core.
So, a strong core helps you in many ways.
A strong core helps you bend over to pick up a child or reach high above your head to put something on a shelf. It helps your body move when you clean your home, fix your car or work in your garden.
Also, having a strong core can protect you from other problems. It can prevent back and neck injuries. A strong core helps your posture. It helps you to stand up straight and look more confident. But more importantly, health experts at Harvard remind us that good posture lessens stress on the spine and helps us to breathe more deeply.
But wait, there’s more.
Experts at the Mayo Clinic explain on their website that core exercises train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work together. This improves your balance and stability.
Strong core muscles also help to make all sports and recreational activities easier and more pleasurable -- whether you are hiking with your family, dancing with your wife or playing a sport with your friends.
So few would argue that a strong core is important. But with life’s busy schedules, how can we find time for core exercises?
The good news is, there are several simple core exercises. You do not need to go to a gym. You don’t need expensive equipment. You can strengthen your core with floor exercises. All you need is a comfortable space on the floor, a mat -- if you prefer -- and maybe a towel.
Five core exercises
These five exercises suggested by the Mayo Clinic target the smaller muscles in your core that are often overlooked in other types of exercise. These exercises are also static, meaning you get into position and stay there still for several deep breaths.
1. The Bridge
The bridge is a classic exercise to strengthen the core.
2. The Quadruped
The quadruped is another exercise that targets the core.
3. The Plank Pose
This pose is a foundation of many yoga exercises. It looks simple, but it is a full core workout.
The more advanced version is basically the beginning of a push up.
4. The Side Plank
The side plank challenges your stability and improves core strength by working the muscles along the side of your body.
5. The Superman
This exercise strengthens your lower back. It also allows you to pretend you are flying like Superman.
For an added challenge, try this version.
These are all simple exercises that most people should be able to do. But you know what is right for your body. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. And, of course, if you have any health concerns, check with your doctor before doing any exercises.
And that’s the Health & Lifestyle report.
posture – n. the way in which your body is positioned when you are sitting or standing
confident – adj. having a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something : having confidence
spine – n. the row of connected bones down the middle of the back
stability – n. the quality or state of someone who is emotionally or mentally healthy
abdominal – n. the part of the body below the chest that contains the stomach and other organs
pelvis – n. the wide curved bones between the spine and the leg bones
torso – n. the main part of the human body not including the head, arms, and legs
classic – adj. very typical
tighten – v. to make (something) tight or tighter or to become tight or tighter
yoga – n. a system of exercises for mental and physical health
arched – adj. something that has a curved shape
align – v. to arrange things so that they form a line or are in proper position
alignment – n. a forming in line