To start, the core is not just all about your abdominal muscles. The “core” is actually comprised of your abdominals, deep spinal muscles, pelvi floor muscles, and diaphragm. To have a strong core, all of these must coordinate and work together. In fact, there is a lot that could be contributing to core weakness and why you are not getting more effectiveness in your workout.
Not sure if your core is working in your favor? Here are 6 signs that you might actually have core weakness and not know it.
Core Weakness Sign #1: Your stomach bulges outward when you exercise. When activated properly, your abdominal wall should draw inward, not push outward. So no matter if you’re crunching, planking, side-planking, or mountain climbing, your abdomen should be flattening in, not pushing out.
Core Weakness Sign #2: You leak urine. This is really common symptom we see here at Legacy Physical Therapy, especially in postpartum women. Leakage is very, very common, but not normal. So if you leak with exercise, even the tiniest amount, you could have some weakness in your core or your core may not be working in your favor when you exercise.
Core Weakness Sign #3: You feel a heaviness or pressure in your lower pelvic, vaginal, or anal areas. If you are exercising and you feel those heavy symptoms, then it could be that you have a weak core. Commonly with urinary leakage and sensations of heaviness, we find women are weak in their pelvic floor muscles or abdominal wall. These muscle could also not be coordinating together to keep you symptom free while exercising.
Core Weakness Sign #4: Pain. A really common area of complaint is the lower back area during or after exercise. Your core is designed to support your movements during exercise. If there is weakness of any part of the core, the body will do a good job of compensating for it. And over time, could lead to pain.
Core Weakness Sign #5: Poor posture. Poor posture typically looks like some variation of slumped forward shoulder and rounded upper back in sitting or standing positions.This could just be day to day posture or your posture when working out. If your core is not strong enough or working to support your posture, your not going to be able to maintain upright positioning day to day or good positioning while exercising.
Core Weakness Sign #6: Poor balance. Have you ever tried balancing on one foot during your workouts? Or tried exercising on a dynamic surface like a Bosu ball, Teracore, or uneven surface and you can’t balance or maintain your balance for long? Your core could be weak and the reason why you are not able to do exercises on those pieces of equipment or do those exercises at all.
There you have it! Our 6 signs of core weakness. If you are seeing any of these signs, we recommend partnering with a physical therapist who can fully assess your core and give you directions on how to improve the strength and coordination of your entire core system. Here at Legacy Physical Therapy, we are passionate about helping women achieve their health and fitness goals free of symptoms. If you’d like to discuss how your core is affecting your workouts, contact us at 636-225-3649.
"We help women who are tired of leaking, dealing with pelvic pain, and wanting to get their body back in shape after baby (even if it’s been 30 years) all without relying on medications or surgery."