3 Reasons to do Core Exercises while driving
It is no secret sitting in a vehicle for long periods of time can cause weakening of one’s core. The back, shoulders, and stomach muscles do not engage automatically while sitting. Any significant movements have to be intentional. Driving for a profession can make it a challenge to know how to even create a strong core. In the video labeled “core” Stephanie shows you exercises to do on a regular basis and we wanted to go deeper into how these exercises can really help you. So watch the video and refer back to this!
1. Protects the core
Driving on the road for extended periods of time causes poor posture, back pain and weakening of abdominal muscles. This directly affects the spine, which controls every part of the body. The brain communicates to all parts of the body by using the spinal cord. This is obviously very important because if there’s too much pressure on the spine then it will be at risk for damage, which affects all areas of your body. Practicing exercises such as core contractions and elevators helps bring together separated and weakened muscles around the spine to create a central powerhouse for your body. This will help prevent injuries in the back and abdominals. When the core muscles are weak, doing movement such as turning sharply, picking up heavy objects, or reaching out for things can cause injuries, specifically to the back or spine as previously mentioned. The spine tends to pick up the load from weakened muscles so back injuries are very common when it comes to a weak core. As you pull the muscles together repeatedly to strengthen, the load that your back and abdominals carry spreads out more evenly and takes pressure off the spine.
2. Pulls the ab muscles together
These exercises specifically focus on the transverse abdominis, which is known as the muscle that protects your spine and provides stability for the core. This muscle is located under your obliques (sides of your stomach/abdominals) and it wraps around your spine. With age, sitting in vehicles for extended periods of time, or gaining weight, this muscle weakens and allows the rectus abdominis to also separate (runs from top to bottom of the front of your stomach). This puts more pressure on the back muscles and spine as discussed above. These muscles are also responsible for keeping organs inside your body. When these muscles separate, back pain is common and also hernias can happen because your organs/intestines are no longer protected. Being able to pull the transverse abdominis back together is a huge win for back health and preventing, or potentially treating, hernias.
3. Flattens the stomach
While core contractions and elevators provide health benefits and strength, they also help create a flatter tummy. As you pull the muscle in and strengthen it, the rectus abdominis will pull together and create a flatter front. Once you pull the muscles and connective tissue back together, more exercises can be performed to strengthen the stomach, giving it that flat look. In addition, it will help keep it free from hernia, back injury, bad posture, proper walking technique, and spine injuries. It is a win all around!