When most people think of core components of exercise, the obvious elements of strength, conditioning, and flexibility usually come to mind. However, one often-overlooked attribute of exercise that carries over to almost all aspects of life is balance. You may think the elderly are the only ones who should be concerned about balance issues, but more and more information is coming out about how balance and stability exercises are beneficial for everyone.
Lack of core strength is often a key component to back pain. In America, a major causal factor to weak core strength is the amount of time we spend sitting. Not only does sitting often result in poor spinal posture, it also allows us to relax core abdominal and spinal muscles that would normally be contracting to stabilize the spine while standing. This combination often results in pain, muscle imbalances, and other health issues such as metabolic syndrome and obesity. When attempting to strengthen the core, we first need to identify what we want the core to do.