How water workouts and clever equipment can strengthen your core.
Building a strong core is crucial for many reasons, not just for physical fitness. It helps to improve posture and protect the back from injury. It also enhances sports performance and makes you feel better and stronger overall.
However, working out your core can be challenging because it requires a lot of balance, coordination, strength, and endurance. This is where water can really help, particularly when you are just starting or coming back from an injury.
Regardless of your overall fitness goals, you should always include a core-strengthening routine in your workout regimen once a week. A strong core is required to improve posture and reduce the risk of injury.
Why work core muscles?
Our core muscles are the sturdy central link in your chain that connects your upper to lower body. Whether you're swinging for a tennis ball or mopping your floor, the necessary motions either begin in your core or move throughout it. Regardless of where motion starts, it ripples upward and downward to adjoining chain links.
Weak or inflexible core muscles can inhibit the movement functionality of your arms and legs, which reduces so much power from the many moves you make. Correctly building up your core cranks up the energy.
A strong core also enhances your balance and stability, which can help prevent falls and injuries during sports or other activities. In fact, a robust and flexible core is the centre of almost everything engaged in, including:
- Everyday tasks. Bending to put your own shoes on or pick up a parcel, turning your head to look behind you, sitting down in a chair, or simply just standing still, are just a few of the many repetitive actions that rely on your core strength and that you might not even notice until they become more difficult or more painful to achieve.
- On-the-job tasks. Jobs involving lifting, twisting, and standing rely on your core muscles. But much less obvious tasks — like sitting at your desk for hours — also engage your core. Phone calls, consistent typing, computer screen use, and similar methods of work can make your back muscles surprisingly stiff and sore, particularly so if you're not strong enough to indulge in good posture and aren't taking sufficient movement breaks.
- A healthy back. Lower back pain, which can be a debilitating and sometimes excruciating problem affecting four out of five people at some point, may actually be prevented by exercises that will promote a set of well-balanced and resilient core muscles.
- Reduce pain. When back pain develops, a regimen of multiple core exercises is often prescribed to relieve it, combined with medications, some physical therapy, or other suitable treatments where necessary.
- Sports and other leisure activities. Golfing, tennis and other racquet sports, road biking, cross country running, swimming, kayaking, free rowing, and many other athletic activities are all powered by having a strong core. Less often mentioned are pleasure and sexual activities, which call for strong core power and flexibility.
- Housework, repair work, and general gardening. Bending over, lifting, twisting, carrying, hammering, reaching overhead — even vacuuming, mopping, and dusting are all acts that originate from or pass through the core of the body.
- Balance and stability. Your core will stabilise your body, allowing you to move in any specific direction, or stand comfortably in one spot without losing any balance. When it is viewed this way, you can see that core exercises can actually lessen your risks of falling.
- Having good posture. Weakened core muscles can contribute to slouching. Having a good posture naturally trims your silhouette and provokes confidence. More importantly, it reduces the wear and tear on your spine and allows you to breathe correctly deeply. Good posture helps you gain the full benefits from the effort you put into exercising.
Weak, tight, or unbalanced core muscles can undermine you in any of these realms. And while it's essential to build a strong core, it's unwise to aim all your efforts at developing rippling abs. Overtraining abdominal muscles while snubbing the back and hip muscles can set you up for injuries and cut athletic prowess. An all-rounded approach to core muscles delivers a better result.
Research shows that around 55% of Australian adults do not meet the required activity guidelines set by the Australian Government Department of Health. Almost half (44%) of working-age adults spend much of their workday sitting, often at a desk for as long as 8 hours every single day.
Unless a person's posture has been addressed and adhered to in the workplace, it may be the case that a persons core stability will suffer as a result of incorrect and prolonged positioning, which can be detrimental to the overall strength and health of the whole body, from the hips to the nape of the neck.
It is imperative to strengthen your core muscles in any way possible, especially if you are considered a sedentary or seated worker.
The core muscles and core strength can affect everything from how you walk to your overall posture, body strength, and health.
So let's have a look at core strength and stability in a bit more detail, and how pool exercises to strengthen the core can really help strengthen and create some mid-section stability.
10 Benefits of a core workout
It supports better posture
Your core is not just the muscles in your stomach. It actually wraps around your torso and includes muscles all along its length, including those which attach to your spine, like inner-core muscles. When all these muscles are strengthened together, it helps you better maintain good posture without any risk of injury because you're more stable!
It improves balance
The excellent posture that your core strength brings can also help improve balance. When you have a solid base, it's easier to stay upright and recover from stumbling.
It creates an equilibrium in your body - which is probably why some people say they stand up slightly taller.
It supports good running form
In addition to a more enjoyable run, runners with stronger core muscles recover from missteps much faster and stay in form as they jog. Having strong lower back and pelvic movements helps decrease contact between the pelvis and your hips while running, which reduces the risk of injury or strain.
It increases stability
Having a strong and sturdy torso helps you to hold steady no matter what physical activity you're doing.
A really strong core helps you stand straighter and keeps your trunk stabilized during your workout or as you go about your usual daily activities.
It also can keep muscle injuries, lower back pain, and poor posture at bay. If there's anything that could help ease the aches of all those hours hunched over a keyboard at work-or encouraging kids to bounce back from sports practice-a strong center would help reduce the risk of injury by stabilizing their central body region.
It protects your organs
Your organs are vital to your body's function, and a strong core can help keep some of them safe.
The liver, spleen, kidneys, and other organs live just underneath the abdominal wall, which acts as a shield against force or damage from outside in. As a result, the stronger you are inside, developing your core muscles will protect these essential organs.
It makes everyday life easier
Your core is the very foundation of all your movements.
It has a pivotal role in everyday movements, like bending down to pick something off the ground or standing for long periods.
This is why many exercises that strengthen your core fall under the umbrella of functional fitness: They make it much easier and more comfortable to go about our daily lives with ease, literally making you more functional.
It can reduce or prevent pain or injury from occurring
One major perk of a strong core is that it helps you feel better overall.
Having solid muscles makes your quality of life more manageable. It reduces any pain, supports the lower back, strengthens the spine, and make you feel a whole lot better because there are so many ripple effects - such as improvements in posture, balance, and moving around with ease - that help avoid irritation or even injury from behaviours like sitting all day at work to do heavy tasks.
It boosts your power
There is no time better than now when it comes to building a solid core.
You don't want to let your muscles be at the mercy of other things that could make them weak or get hurt- like not exercising!
Moving more and doing exercises with power will help you avoid injury while enjoying everything else that exercising brings: feeling healthier, stronger, and having more energy.
To improve your strength in all movement areas, take advantage of building abdominal strength!
It supports strength training
Strength is essential in many parts of the body and not just your core. Working out your muscles helps you function best, which supports a strong core.
With that additional strength training, it's easy for people to get into shape!
If we are transparent, stability and a strong core allow us to lift more weight with proper form - this sets the stage for success with our exercise routine!
It helps you age well
You need core strength to prevent falls, lower back pain and keep your body in better shape as you age.
When it comes to keeping yourself balanced and stable, there is no other way than a strong core!
How does a water workout strengthen your core?
Exercising in the water utilises the muscle groups in a supported, nonimpact environment compared with weights on land. It's a safe and fun way to make improvements if you are just starting to improve balance and coordination or if coming back from an injury.
All water exercise requires individuals to use their core muscles for stability due to the buoyant nature of water. Buoyancy challenges a person’s stability in the water. To remain vertical and in good posture, one must constantly activate their back and abdominal muscles. The pressure applied by the water on the core muscles gently forces these muscles to engage. Note the level of instability is different for every body type. For example, higher levels of body fat results in higher buoyancy. The varying placement of fat throughout the body creates a different level and location of imbalance and instability.
Water workouts help protect the joints while working out while developing the core muscles and stabilisers.
All water workouts will strengthen the core to some degree. Cycling in water will engage and challenge the core more than cycling on land. However, if you are really looking to increase your core strength and take it to the next level, there are two key pieces of equipment you should also consider adding to your workout regime; a Hydrorider RiderBand and a Hydrorider Floating Fit Mat.
Exercises using a Hydrorider Riderband to strengthen your core
Suspended Water workouts (where you are not physically not touching the bottom of the pool) and resistance bands are an effective combination for super charging core strength and stability.
For some examples of exercises that challenge the core using Resistance Bands, check out these suspended water exercise tutorials.
The Hydrorider RiderBand is the best water resistance band available. It is made specifically for water and withstands high-intensity, high-tempo exercise. It offers a range of exercise options with its various loops and caters for all arm and leg limb lengths. It is lightweight and portable for easy travel.
It can be used in deep and shallow water; it also dries within an hour after each workout - its odor is neutral, chlorine-free, and highly durable. Resistance bands not made for water will deteriorate quickly.
Exercises using a Hydrorider FOW (Fitness of Water) Fitness Mat to strengthen the core
Another great piece of workout equipment for core workouts is the Hydrorider FOW (Fitness On Water) Fitness Mat. It is a specially designed floating mat for the pool that floats on the water's surface and can be incorporated into pool exercises to strengthen your core in the pool.
The FOW has a natural instability, which forces you to make your own body stable as you use it. Floating on a mat intensifies your movements, creating a focus on core muscle groups and improving balance and coordination. It challenges beginners and even the fittest individuals and is the perfect fitness program for all levels, regardless of experience.
Since FOW provides a dynamic base, the harder you work, the more complex and intense the workout becomes. You can go at your own comfortable pace and challenge yourself more and more over time.
You can do many and various exercises for core stability: Including muscle activation, neuromuscular control, static stabilisation, and dynamic stability. You can also tailor programs to all levels from gentle balancing to HIIT core stability for cross-training athletes.
Some exercises that use the Hydrorider FOW (Fitness On Water) Fitness Mat include:
The Hydrorider FOW (Fitness On Water) Fitness Mat Can take your yoga practice to the next level;
It makes you really aware of the instability of water, and it's this struggle with being stable that makes your core work so hard for you.
Pilates is a workout that uses the mat because it has been proven to activate muscles to be more balanced. The floating mat acts in a way similar to yoga; it can take your mat pilates to the next level, which can help you improve your health.
The act of balancing is quite simple. You stand on the mat, and then you sit back down. The difficulty arises when trying to move. It takes a lot more core work than leg work to keep your balance while standing up on a Hydrorider FOW (Fitness On Water) Fitness Mat.
This can be one of the best core workouts in the pool.
Planking, situps, and squats with additional instability
A mat is an excellent place for strength training because it offers support and resistance.
Several different bodyweight exercises can be done on the mat, including planks, situps, and squats, which turn them into pool exercises for core stability.
Combine these bodyweight exercises with the benefits of a Hydrorider FOW (Fitness On Water) Fitness Mat. You will maximize your workout experience to get more substantial results than ever before!
HIIT in and on water combos
Explosiveness through the water force and onto the mat really lifts the heart rate and adds a cooling effect to the workout. Try 10 consecutive pushups onto the board and feel your heart pound.
One of the Hydrorider FOW (Fitness On Water) Fitness Mat's best features is that it comes with two bungee ropes to help keep it from floating away as you work out. It also has stainless steel rings, which allow you to anchor the mat and keep your workout on track!
There are so many exercises you can do on the fit mat that make them really fun and activate the core muscles!
How to get started
Keeping your core muscles strong is imperative. If you’re just getting started with a core strength program or if you’re looking to try something new, jump in your pool at home. Working out in your home pool is a simple and convenient way to improve your core strength. You can purchase everything you need to get started online in the My Pool My Gym Shop.
Speak to your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine, or if you have any health concerns.