Fitness professionals have varying opinions on how individuals should train for optimal health, but one thing they all agree on is the importance of a strong core. You've probably seen that phrase floating around on Instagram or heard your favorite instructor yell it out as you hold a plank for what seems like eternity, but you may not know exactly what having a strong core means.
Your core is like the roots of your favorite plant. Strong and sturdy roots keep the plant stable and support the weight of the plant as it grows. The same can be said for your core, which is often considered the source, or root, of all movement. Every time you bend down to pick something up off the ground, reach for something in the back seat of your car, or lift something over head, your core is working.
"The well-trained core is essential for optimal performance and injury prevention," Stuart McGill, PhD, explained in a 2010 review in the Strength and Conditioning Journal. No matter your fitness goals, having a strong and stable core is essential. To help you strengthen your abs, POPSUGAR tapped personal trainers and physical therapists for their go-to strengthening and stabilizing exercises. Check them out ahead.