The core muscles are the most important muscle group and should be strengthened before embarking on any form of fitness training program, particularly weights training, resistance training, or bodybuilding.

Suppose that at a distance, you see a short, stooped figure, walking with short, slow steps. Most likely, you will conclude that the person is just old. The hunched posture gives you the clue. This is a fact of life, but what causes it and what can be done to avoid it? Why does aging contort so many bodies, in this way?

The reason is that many people, throughout their lives, never extended the neck to it's full potential and so the muscles shortened. Long hours of reading, sewing, typing, or standing at a workbench, all take their toll. Nowadays, computers, televisions and electronic games also contribute to an unhealthy sedentary lifestyle. Eventually, deposits of calcium salts in the joints, complete the process of immobilization. Once this calcification takes place, nothing can be done to reverse it.

Fortunately, older persons can take action now, before it is too late. The best action is regular exercise that stretches these muscles and improves flexibility, with special attention to the core muscles. This kind of response is relatively important for a number of factors, that when taken for granted, or neglected, will only lead to more serious health problems.

What Are Core Muscles?

Core muscles pertain to the muscles found at the obliques, abdominals, lower back, and the glutes. These four areas of the body include the muscles that usually dictate the posture of a person. These are the main muscles that hold the body erect and mobile. Hence, a good posture, reflects the good condition of these muscle areas and vice versa.

What people do not always realize, is that the core muscles are actually the “core,” or the central part of the body, for all the strength that is needed, to carry out different physical activities. This only means, that if an individual’s core muscles are physically powerful, then they will maintain equilibrium on the body and will stabilize the system, every time the person works and moves position.

Strengthening Core Muscles

The main responsibility of the core muscles is to provide enough power to the body, in order to enable it to cope with the dynamic challenges of every physical activity that a person encounters.

For this reason, many health and fitness experts have realized that it is actually more important, to strengthen the core muscles, than with the any other muscles in the body. Through some experimentation and research, they have found that having a stronger core, can lessen a lot of health problems concerning posture.

For instance, a well-conditioned core muscle can project good posture. It can also improve the endurance of the back, all the way through the day. Why? Because muscles that are included in the group of core muscles, are actually those that initiate the proper stabilization of the whole upper and lower torso.

So, for those of you who wish to know and understand why it is so important to strengthen the core muscles, here is a list of some of the benefits, that you can use as references:

1. Strengthening the core muscles will improve posture and prevent lower back pain, from muscular origin. This means, that as you incorporate stretching exercises in to your routine, taking a particular focus on the muscles of the upper and front part of the trunk and including the abdominal and trunk muscles, then the activity has the tendency to strengthen the muscles of the back that extend to the spine.

2. It will help tone the muscles, thereby, avoiding further back injury. Exercising your core muscles will strengthen and tone your lower back muscles and buttocks, while stretching the hip flexors and the muscles on the front of the thighs. Achieving this state, will reduce the chances, of any serious, lower back injury.

3. Improves physical performance. Exercising the core muscles with slow, static stretching, is very effective in relieving stiffness and also enhances flexibility. Once the flexibility of a person has improved, it follows that he will be able to perform his physical activities, more easily.

4. They do not cause sore aching muscles. Static stretching for core muscles, is the best form of exercise for the muscles and connective tissues. Because it employs slow stretches only, it will not cause any soreness, as do the quick, bouncing exercises, that normally rely on jerky muscle contractions.

5. Lengthen muscles and avoid unbalanced footing, as you get old. Core muscle exercises lengthen the muscles that have contracted, as a result of pain. It also prevents pain from vigorous exercise, if they are included at the end of each workout.

Health and fitness experts highly recommend starting core work outs immediately and repeating the routine at least twice a week. The process can be done after the workout, or even during the activity, for about 10, to 20 minutes only.

Indeed, core muscles are absolutely vital in determining the good posture of the body, so it makes sense to strengthen them, to eliminate those nasty back pains.

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Clinton Robson is a South African fitness fanatic and is a qualified Personal Trainer. He has completed a contract to run the gyms on cruise ships. He has done a special higher level course and qualified as an Exercise Specialist, or Conditioning Coach. He works in 2 local gyms, assisting the staff with clients and training plans. He has been working out regularly, since 1996. See his Fitness And Fatless blog at http://www.fitnessandfatless.yolasite.com