Maintaining Muscle

Well following on from yesterday…Strength Training, maintaining muscle.  It is more important than I ever realised before I started to do this research. And the main area we need to work on from what I’ve learned; is what is known as the Core Muscle Group.

When you hear people talking about Strength Training, you will often hear them refer to the Core Muscles.  If you ask people in general, what they are? You would get a lot of different answers.  I thought it would help if I understood more about it.

So before we start looking at how we can strengthen our Core Muscles, here is a simple “take” on what they basically are and what they do.  I’m sure you will see from this, as I did, why it is so important to make this part of your exercise routine as you get older, and how debilitating it can be in old age if you don’t.

The Core Muscles are basically in two main groups:-

The First Group

Muscles that are attached to your Spine and Hips –Are known as Deep Core Muscles.  They give you stability when you move the extremities of your Upper and Lower Body, and stabilise your Spine and Hips, for all round stability.  This gives you your Posture.

This group of muscles act on reflex, and work best in an unstable environment that requires balance.

The Second Group

These muscles are not attached to the Spine and are built for movement and mobility.  These muscles tend to get a lot more attention in exercise than the Deep Core Muscles, usually due to a lack of knowledge of the muscle groups, unless under the guidance of a Fitness Instructor.

It is more important to work the first group for strong stability and posture, before strengthening the second group for movement and mobility.

The Core Muscles have also been described as a cylinder of stability, when all working together; acting like a brace for the body.

See diagram below.

Starting at the top:

DIAPHRAGM

TRANSVERSUS ABDOMINIS

MULTIFIDUS

PELVIC FLOOR

We have all taken the work that this very important muscle group do for granted, as the Deep Core works on reflex and is supported by the flexibility and strength of the rest.

In our 50’s we need to work this area to maintain the muscles effectiveness.  All very do-able with the right exercise plan.

Tomorrow we will start to look at how we can do this and enjoy the process.

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