MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - Core strength and stability can straighten posture, reduce risk of injury, and improve athletic performance. It can also improve the ability to perform tasks of daily living.  

The purpose of a person's core is to maintain the stability of the body as he or she reaches, stretches, and bends. The core is an integral part of daily activity. Keeping the core healthy will make the arms and legs stronger, make daily work easier, and help to prevent injury.  

The core can have an effect on low back pain, hamstring injury, ankle weakness, and knee injuries.

“Your core is the base for all of your lower body movement. If that isn’t stable, you are vulnerable to injury anywhere from the foot and ankle to the back,” Lia Anderson, P.T., D.P.T., said. “Most people think that having a strong core is about having strong abs. There’s much more to it than that.”

Anderson will be presenting "Get to the CORE of Injury Prevention" at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 11 and again at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13 in The Wellness Center at WVU Medicine Berkeley Medical Center.

Core training exercises need to focus on muscles of the abdomen, hips, back, and chest. These muscles work together to balance and stabilize the body.

“You need to do exercises for all these muscle to balance out the muscle groups,” Anderson said. “If you only do crunches and bench press and then sit at a desk all day, you become front heavy pulling your body forward into a slouching position. Core exercises should open you up so you can sit and stand tall with good posture.”

"Get to the CORE of Injury Prevention" is being offered free to the public as a community service of WVU Medicine University Healthcare. Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, call 304-264-1287, ext. 31814 or email ddejarnett@wvumedicine.org.

For more information: Teresa E. McCabe, University Healthcare Vice President of Marketing and Development, 304-264-1223