5 Signs You Have a Weak Core (& Why That’s a Bad Thing)

Your core is the foundation of your body, but it also is one of the parts of the body that’s weakest in a lot of people.

Whether or not you exercise, maintaining a strong core is an integral part to your overall good health and well-being. But, because many Americans sit for hours per day – sometimes upwards of 10 hours per day! – it’s more difficult than ever to maintain core strength.

How do you know whether you’ve got a weak core, short of trying to do 100 sit-ups?

Here are 5 signs you have a weak core:

Lower Back Pain

Your core isn’t comprised of just your abdominal muscles; it’s all the muscles of your trunk, from front to back.

If you have weak core muscles, your back isn’t able to support your weight as fully as it should, leading to back pain. You may notice that nagging ache after hours of sitting in your desk chair, or a sharp pain in a specific part of your back after standing.

Poor Posture

Whether or not you stand straight – or slouch when sitting down – is owed largely to your core muscles. When your core is weak, it can’t support your ribcage, shoulders, and head correctly, leading to slumping and slouching.

And poor posture can lead to further back pain, more evidence that your core is weak.

Bad Balance

Do you have trouble keeping your balance when bending down, walking, or standing? Do you feel that you’re always just slightly off-kilter?

This could be the result of a weak core.

When your core is weak, it can’t hold your spine and the rest of your body in proper alignment, throwing off your center of gravity. This causes you to compensate in other ways, throwing off your balance.

Low Standing Endurance

Standing for hours at a time isn’t supposed to be comfortable, but it shouldn’t be painful.

If you find your lower back hurting, or pain in your hips, legs, knees, ankles, or feet when you have to stand in line for a long time, or when you’re cooking, for example, it may be a sign that your core is weak.

A weak core means that, to keep yourself upright, the rest of your body has to compensate in some way to keep you standing. This means you tighten those muscles and put strain on other areas of your body, leading to pain.

Difficulty Breathing

Experiencing shortness of breath when you aren’t exerting yourself is often a sign of a problem. However, if you have to remind yourself to breathe deeply when you’re exercising or moving, it could be a sign that your core is weak.

Your diaphragm is located deep in your core, and when you have weak core muscles and poor posture, you can’t properly engage your diaphragm when you need to breathe deeply.

Instead, you may find yourself holding your breath more than you should during exertion, an unconscious way you’re bracing your core against the strain. Breathing should come naturally, even under physical stress, and having to stop to remember to breathe may mean something’s not right with your core.

Why Is a Weak Core Bad?

As the foundation of your body, your core is crucial to your body’s muscular and skeletal health. When your core is weak, the rest of your body is weak and put under even greater strain as a result.

This can lead to lingering pain and weakness, which can then lead to other chronic conditions (For example, obesity if your pain keeps you from being physically active).

Taking some time to improve your core strength each day can help alleviate the pain you experience, bringing your body into a more harmonious, healthy state overall.

Chiropractic Care for Back Pain in Frederick, MD

If you’re experiencing pain and weakness as a result of back pain, neck pain, or any other condition, chiropractic care is a safe, non-invasive option for treatment. At Lipinski Chiropractic, we carefully consider your symptoms, building you an individualized treatment plan to help manage and improve your pain. Call today for an appointment!