Why Strengthening Your Core Matters for Joint Health

Your core is known as the powerhouse of your body, and strengthening your core has many benefits, including better posture and stability. But what many people don't know is that core strength is also crucial for joint health.

When your core is weak, your body compensates by using other muscles to do the job. Unfortunately, this can lead to unnecessary wear and tear on your joints, as well as pain in the lower back. Keeping a strong core, however, will help increase core stability, keeping your joints healthier and assisting in injury prevention.

Core Exercises for Joint Health

Incorporating the right core strengthening exercises in your workout routine is helpful in improving joint function. Doing activities that engage your core reduces the stress on your joints.

Core exercises reduce joint stress by positively affecting core posture and stability, allowing your joints to move more freely. Some of the best core strengthening exercises to improve joint health include:


Yoga core exercises are gentle yet effective. These movements focus on the core area and include extremity exercises for a complete workout. Yoga puts minimal strain on the joints and can also help improve core strength, especially for people with joint pain. In addition, yoga is known to help those with arthritis reduce their symptoms and keep core stability in place.


Pilates is another practice that is an excellent way to improve joint health. Pilates is low-impact and focuses on strengthening the core muscles. Pilates also helps improve flexibility and posture, benefiting the joints. Flexibility enhances movement and range of motion, which is great for joint health.

Side Planks

Side planks are a good exercise that benefits both the core and joint health. They are a relatively easy core exercise and can be modified to fit any fitness level. Side planks work the entire core, including the obliques. If you’re new to side planks, try lowering your bottom knee to the floor for extra support. Resting on your forearm (instead of your hand and wrist) is another modification you can try.

Bird Dogs

Bird dogs are another great core exercise that targets the joints. This move begins in a tabletop position (hands and knees) and requires you to extend one arm and the opposite leg while keeping the core tight. Bird dogs target the core and glutes while engaging your joints. Check out this guide on how to properly do the bird dog core exercise.


Curl-ups are another core exercise that benefits your joints. This movement requires you to lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Then, slowly curl up your torso until your shoulder blades are off the ground. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly lower back down. This core exercise is helpful in strengthening your core as well as the muscles in your shoulders, upper arms and chest.

Side planks, bird dogs, and curl-ups are known as the big three of core exercises, as they are good for the core and spine. Regular completion of these core exercises is an effective way to improve lower back pain, arthritis pain, and core instability.

A Strong Core for a Healthy Spine

Maintaining a strong core helps your body's performance when participating in everyday and athletic activities. Having strong core muscles can take pressure off the hip joints and spine, reducing the risk of arthritis and preventing the onset of osteoporosis. It’s also easier to move your body in all directions without pain when you have a strong core.

When core muscles are weak and unable to support the spine, muscle fatigue can occur in other areas of the body, including the lower back. This can lead to pain and discomfort in that area. A strong core will help keep your spine aligned and posture in check, preventing pain from occurring in other areas.

How a Strong Core Helps Joints

Having an exercise routine that includes the chest, back and abdomen can help improve your balance and stability. This reduces the likelihood of falling, which can put your knees, ankles and hips at risk of serious injury. Additionally, core strength helps prevent muscle imbalances that may occur when engaging in other exercises.

When the core is strong, it can help support and stabilize the spine and joints, decreasing pain and increasing strength and flexibility. When core muscles are weak, the body compensates by using other muscle groups to keep up with everyday activities such as walking, running and standing. This can strain other muscle groups if the core muscles are not strong enough to do their job.

Visit The Steadman Clinic

Having a strong core is one of the best ways to prevent joint injury and optimize your athletic performance. If you are experiencing joint pain and looking to get back to your active lifestyle, please visit us at The Steadman Clinic. Our world-renowned physicians at The Steadman Clinic offer a variety of services, including sports medicine care, personalized treatments and orthopedic surgery.

Call(970) 476-1100 or request an appointment online today to see one of our providers.