Healthy Tahoe: At the core of core strength |

Healthy Tahoe: At the core of core strength

Lydia O'Bannon
Lydia O'Bannon

Strong core muscles offer so much more than just six-pack abs; a stronger core is one of the best physical improvements you can make for yourself. Having a strong core helps us prevent injuries and perform our best in even the most routine activities. Whether it’s lifting a bag of dog food, or swinging your strongest golf drive, having a strong core can help support a pain-free life.

The ‘core’ is a group of muscles in your abdomen, back, and glutes that work together to stabilize your pelvic floor and spine. They ensure the spine is protected from excessive load, taking stress off the discs and joints. Studies have shown all movement starts at the core — even movements of your limbs require some degree of bracing and activating your core muscles. 

Back, shoulder, and hip pain is directly related to poor posture and body mechanics, which stems from weakness in the core. There are simple exercises you can do such as deep breathing exercises, exercises while laying on the floor, kneeling exercises, and exercises while standing still that can help improve your core strength. These simple exercises can even drastically improve your posture and balance. 

A physical therapist or performance coach can help you tackle core and pelvic floor strengthening and teach you how to fire these muscles properly, improving balance, stabilization, and decreasing back pain. 

Having strong core muscles will support improvement in almost any physical activity, and can translate into a stronger baseball pitch, a faster run, and a safer body position for household and yard work. No matter how old you are or how active you are, having a strong core can increase your quality of life and decrease your likelihood of injury.

From picking up a child to shoveling snow — the stronger your core, the easier your life will be.

Lydia O’Bannon is a physician assistant with Tahoe Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, treating orthopedic injuries at the Barton Center for Orthopedics & Wellness. The Barton Center for Orthopedics & Wellness, a certified U.S. Ski & Snowboard Center of Excellence, is a state-of-the-art rehabilitation center with the newest rehabilitation equipment to best serve patients in physical and occupational therapy, injury recovery and prevention, pre and post-surgical therapy, and sports medicine rehabilitation. For more information, visit

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