The benefits of core conditioning extend well beyond achieving washboard abs. The core muscles are more than just the abdominal muscles, although these important muscles do form a part of the core. Core muscles also consist of the muscles that make up the trunk, the hips, and the floor of the pelvis. These muscles help to stabilize the spine and pelvis and even affect the movement of the lower extremities.
Benefits of a strong core:
Improved, more powerful performance
Injury prevention and rehabilitation
Increased protection and "bracing" for your back
A more stable center of gravity
A more stable platform for sports movements
When core training is done correctly, the entire girdle of muscles extending from the upper back to the hips and the length of the abdominals is strengthened which helps to stabilize the spine. This can be help to alleviate back pain and reduce the risk of injury to the back and pelvis when lifting and bending over. Strengthening the core muscles not only improves the appearance of the mid-section, but also protects against injury and back strain. When these muscles are targeted for strengthening, it improves posture which can have a dramatic effect on the appearance of the mid-section.
Not only do strong core muscles improve appearance and reduce the risk of orthopedic problems, it also helps to improve overall athletic performance and even makes it easier to carry out day-to-day activities. Movements such as lifting a child or pet, reaching for something on a high shelf, scrubbing the floor, and getting into and out of your car all become easier when the core muscles are strong. Almost every athletic movement involves the core in some capacity, so training these muscles are of importance for the serious athlete. Having a strong core also helps with balance since the core is the center of gravity of the body.