Core strength for better walking
The usual presumption about walking, whether its for 5 minutes or 500 miles, is that you only need to put one foot in front of the other, and that’s it. After all, we’ve all had tons of practice, having done it since we were little.
While walking is a great way to exercise, it is equally important to develop ‘core strength’ in order to enable you to walk more efficiently, reduce wear and tear, and lower the levels of energy consumption. The result is a body built on a strong foundation and a rich and rewarding walking experience.
The purpose of this article is two-fold:
- Firstly, to understand what ‘core strength’ means in terms of walking and
- Secondly, to identify an effective strategy to improve core strength, regardless of the challenges you face.
What Is Core Strength?
Think of core strength as the support system that connects and enables the upper and lower halves of your body to operate in unison. I often tell clients that when it comes to any full body exercise (i.e. walking) that ‘all roads lead through the middle’. By proactively improving core strength, you will ensure that your entire frame is supported to operate at peak efficiency.
For walking, this means you will be able to breathe better, walk for longer, as well as avoid injury over the long haul by developing the support system that enables your body to move in the position for which it was originally intended.
The Muscles Involved In Achieving Core Strength
Core strength has given rise to the idea of achieving an “ideal posture.” which indicates a proper alignment of the body’s segments such that the least amount of energy is required to maintain a desired position. The benefit of achieving this ideal position would be that the least amount of stress is placed on the body’s tissues.
Every muscle is involved in keeping your spine in its neutral position including your hips, legs, and feet. The position enables correct breathing, circulation of bodily fluids, maintaining your balance, the prevention of long-term wear and tear, and responding to the moments when an external force challenges the neutral position.
To achieve the overall strength required it is necessary to train your body as a unit (i.e. completing functional strength exercises such as deadlifts, squats, kettlebell swings and press ups). This enables you to force your body to adapt and respond to the external forces that take your body out of its neutral position.
With correct form and guidance, you will maintain the required posture to execute these movements, and in turn make yourself stronger to maintain the neutral spine position the next time you head out fora two-foot excursion.
To learn more about healthy eating habits to achieve your fitness goals, contact James Staring, a leading personal trainer in Clapham, London.
ABOUT JAMES STARING
James Staring is a personal trainer based in Clapham, London. His methods have featured in publications such as Your Fitness, Hello, Healthy, Daily Mail, Closer, and many more. After giving up smoking and entering the fitness industry in 2009, James has focused on his passion to help others transform their health and fitness. However, James is convinced that most people struggle so much more than they need to in an effort to improve their fitness. Through his company, Fit to Last, which he runs with his partner, Ali Page – James has helped hundreds of men and women make small adjustments in their daily habits to transform their fitness and to love how they look and feel.