Now, before I make a Greg Louganis (greatest American diver in history) dive into the subject at hand, your body's core, let me give you an extremely brief science lesson (brief because I was a low B science student at best) on what the earths core does. The earths core protects life from the solar winds and Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) which are violent ejections of solar gas, plasma, and electromagnetic radiation. The earths core is made up of molten nickel/iron which generates a magnetic field. Without the magnetic field our earth would be hit by radiation of charged particles from the sun. Long story short; the earth's core protects the earth!
Let's put all that we've learned in the first paragraph of this blog in relation to our own bodies, specifically our core. The human core, in my professional opinion, is the most important part of your body. It's actually made up of multiple muscles: pelvic floor muscles, transversus abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae (sacrospinalis) also known as your upper abdominals, lower abdominals, obliques, and lower back. Your glutes (butt), lats (back), and even traps are also muscles that work secondary with your core. In layman terms, the core involves most of the body.
Having a strong core will help your stability and balance. It will protect your organs, central nervous system, as well as prevent lower back pain. A strong core also helps and corrects bad posture. The daily things you do will also improve with a strong core. Think about the muscles you use when you: tie your shoe, reach to put something on a shelf, walk, jump sing, dance, etc. You use your core continuously. Let's talk about what a weak core does to you. Are you ready? A weak core will do the exact opposite of what a strong core does. There, that was easy.
I deal with clients with weak cores every day. What I notice with them compared to those with a strong core is that those with a weak core are more injury prone. When your core is weak and you exercise, walk, or do day to day activities, you will supplement other muscles to perform certain movements. What do I mean? It's like when you walk on a bad ankle, but in order to do that you will put more weight on your good ankle which in turn can effect the good leg's hip, knee and muscles around that area. When you do a plank and your core is weak you may put more weight on your shoulders, biceps and triceps to avoid adding to much stress in your core area. This in turn can cause strain to those areas as well.
Going back to my analogy about the earth's core. Without the earths strong core we would not be alive on this earth. We would be destroyed! Keep that in mind the next time you decide not to do lower back exercises, oblique work, or the all famous sit-up!