Think of a tree. Does a tree get it’s tremendous strength and stability from it’s limbs? No. The tree is only as strong as its trunk and roots. Without a strong trunk, the tree would topple over when the storms rolled through.
It's the same for our bodies. If we don't concentrate on building a strong core and a good foundation, we'll end up tight in some places and weak in others, injury-prone, and susceptible to the pitfalls of our daily lives and the rigors of working out.
Your body’s core— the abdomen, obliques, lower back, inner and outer thigh, and glutes are hugely important to almost everything we do any given day. Think of your core muscles as that sturdy central trunk connecting the upper and lower limbs. Whether you’re doing double unders or pulling a heavy clean, the necessary motions either originate in your core, or move through it.
No matter where the motion starts, it ripples upward and downward to the adjoining limbs. Weak or inflexible core muscles can impair how well your arms and legs function. And that saps power from many of the moves you make. Properly building up your core increases your power, and we are always looking to tap more power in your workouts.
A strong core also enhances posture, balance and stability. Your core helps to stabilize the spine and pelvis. This means that everyday activities like walking, sitting and standing are all tasks that activate the core. A strong core helps to keep your spine erect and your hip bones in a neutral position. Having strong core stabilizers enables you to maximize strength in your arms and legs. Think of how much and how often we use our hips to derive power in the movements we do at the gym. Everything from burpees, cleans, and kipping pull ups get their power from the hips.
The core also promotes good posture. When your core muscles are strong, they enable you to keep your body upright and prevent slouching. Having good posture can help you survive sitting or standing for long periods of time without experiencing back and joint pain. Having a strong core will help prevent lower back and joint pain when deadlifting and kettlebell swinging.
Funtional Fitness movements are designed to work multiple joints or muscles together, never in isolation, with the idea of a wave of contraction from core to extremity. In doing so, these movements develop much of what we need — strength, flexibility, range of motion, circulation, muscular endurance, coordination, balance, and good posture - and decreases back, neck and joint pain.
Plus, you’ll probably enjoy some stress relief, learn some breath control, increase your endurance, and improve your shape and tone.