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You may say, “I run, bike, do aerobics, so I don't need abs workouts.” But if you want to take your sports performance up a notch, you'll make time for your abs. Strong core muscles provide a firm platform for all your sports activities, from running to golf.
If you're a runner with strong legs, that's great. But if you ignore your core, the weak muscles in your hips and low back won't give your legs the support they need for peak performance during longer or faster runs. Similarly, if you are a golfer, a stronger core body gives the stability to your arms and legs as you extend through the full range of motion in a golf swing.
Your hips, knees and shoulders are more susceptible to sports injuries without strong core muscles to support them. Think of your movements during sports as part of a chain of motion. The movement of your arms and legs actually begins with the spine, and that's why a strong core will help you in any sport.
What's the best way to enhance your core strength? To work many core muscles at once, invest in a fitness ball and learn a few core-strengthening abs workouts that you can do at home. You'll notice that you feel stronger during sports, and you'll reduce your risk of injury.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|