Six Signs That Indicate You Have a Weak Core

Six Signs That Indicate You Have a Weak Core

Your core muscles are the most important muscle group in your body. Occupying areas in your lower back, hips, glutes, trunk, and stomach, core muscles are vital to many common movements, such as lifting, twisting, reaching, and bending. Normal, every day life requires almost constant use of the core muscles. While showier muscles in other parts of the body might attract more attention, a strong core is a critical component of good fitness.

Unfortunately, many people have weak, inadequate cores. Find out if you’re one of them by looking over the following six signs of weak core muscles.

  1. Lower back pain. The lower back is one of the most common sources for recurrent pain. If the muscles surrounding your spine are weak, the vertebrae and discs of your spine won’t be properly supported. The lower back is supposed to have a forward curve to it, but weak core muscles will make this position impossible, resulting in pain in the surrounding muscles and tendons. If you do not have a more serious back condition, any lower back pain is likely a result core weakness.
  1. Poor posture. The muscles of the abdomen and lower back combine to hold your spine and pelvis in place. If these muscles are weak, your body will be unstable, and you won’t be able to sit or stand erectly for more than a short period. Instead, you’ll habitually assume slouched, slumped positions, which in turn will strain your muscles. Only those with strong cores can maintain a healthy posture for long periods. Note that lower back pain and poor posture are closely connected, so one is often accompanied by the other.
  1. Bad balance. Your core muscles stabilize your entire body, so a weak core will affect your ability to balance. Since poor balance is not usually obviously noticeable, you’ll need to perform a test. Check your balance by standing on one foot with your eyes closed. Test one leg, than the other. If you can’t hold this position for at least ten seconds with both legs, your balance is subpar — probably because of an underdeveloped core.
  1. An inability to pass the ‘hollowing’ test. The simplest way to check core muscle strength is the hollowing test. Take a deep breath. As you begin exhaling, pull your stomach back towards your spine as far as you can. Hold this pose for ten full seconds — if you can’t make it that far, your core needs some work.

  1. General weakness. Muscular weakness in any part of the body can be a sign of an inadequate core. Since the core provides needed stability for almost all movements, weakness in the arms and legs may be a manifestation of core weakness. For example, such actions as punching, throwing, and kicking all depend on core muscles.
  1. Being unable to hold a plank. A plank is a popular abdomen exercise that can double as a test of your core strength. Perform a plank by entering push-up position, then holding your body so that your weight rests on your arms, elbows, and toes, with your hips held steady and level. Hold as long you can — if you can’t go at least 50 seconds before your hips give out, your core is probably too weak.

The power for most body movements is generated from the core, which means that a weak core will affect virtually everything you do. Clearly, improving a weak core is worthwhile. Fortunately, there are many simple exercises designed to strengthen the core muscles, so start working out if your core needs improvement.

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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.


  1. vince Reply

    Hi I had 3strokes s but balance is off and I believe my core is weak need to know how I can strenghthen for golf swing

  2. rose Reply

    how is the core related to the spin. my consultant told me that as my spine is unstable it makes sense when I tell him that the physiotherapist told me that my core is very weak.

  3. sharad diwan Reply

    I always feel very strange kind of hollowness & weakness in my abdomen specially after urination or stool this feeling gets aggravated everytime & due to this feeling I feel problem in breathing …It has been 11 yrs & still I couldn’t find the reason…Plz help & suggest me what should I do?

  4. Judy65 Reply

    I have a pinched nerve in my back,but I don’t believe this to be the cause of my pain. Could it be muscles? When I’m standing my back hurts bad. If I hold on to something, or lean against the wall, my back doesn’t hurt as bad. I also have trouble standing straight and walking without bending forward. Any ideas would be appreciated.

    1. Christine Hanson

      JUDY….did you ever get a medical reply to your question? I have everything you described except a pinched nerve…..The thoracic part of my back seems to be so weak……

  5. Alicia Reply

    I am not suffering pain but my my upper body will bend forwards as I walk after a 5 minute rest I can usually stand up right it felt like my body was in spasm any explanation ??

  6. Ginger Reply

    My lumbar core muscles are pulled, damaged. Excruciating to move let alone walk. I had been doing yoga already. I read all about performing exercises BUT i am barely able to turn over to sit up to stand in order to even walk to sofa. Ibuprofen helps very very little. Need the edge of severe pain to lessen.
    I lifted heavy object and this experience is third in 6 years.
    Previous recovery 6 weeks easily.

    1. Andy

      Hi. I would recommend looking into trigger point therapy. I bought a paperback off Amazon and it has honestly changed my life. It tells you what to do. You probably have some major trigger points in your abs which can actually also cause back pain!

    2. Sab

      I am 38 and I got same problem like you. I was very active person, was running my own business, used to regular exercise but now I am completely different person. Now my doctor says MRI shows I have Degenerative changes and facet joint disease and also I have poor core strength. They asked me to do exercises for core strength. I don’t understand why I have weak core strength as I used to do regular exercises.
      I take Paracetamol, Naproxen and Co-Codamol but they don’t work. Using toilet makes me tensed because sitting is more painful than standing.
      Please someone has any idea how to get rid of this pain. I am so depressed. In my prayer I always ask God for painful early death because it is better than living with pain.

  7. Kaylene Reply

    I walk for 20mins and then find my leg and hand goes heavy all on my right side . Find i am struggling to walk trying to lift . Is it my low back core muscle doing it

  8. Regina Reply

    I cough, lift, or do an abdominal exercise and a painful knot “pops out” . It can gravitate and immobolizes me for about 20 minutes. When it subsides my stomach is sore. The pain is so intense when this happens that I cannot move.

    1. Jessica R RN

      This is a sign of a hernia- when the muscle of abdomen is out touching and it needs to be evaluated by a MD. Hopefully you have seen a Dr by now. If not please When coughing or sneezing hold a pillow firmly over the area before hand or your hand and bend over slightly to prevent It, as it will get larger and weaker. Do not perform abdominal exercise. You can also wear a abdominal binder. Please see a doctor ASAP

  9. Robert Colwell Reply

    I had a stroke and have very weak core strength I also have two bulging disc at bottom of the spin pinching a nerve and making it very hard to walk can anyone recommend anything to help.

  10. Cynthia Flores Reply

    I lay on my back, i cant lift my hips to raise pelvis like a bridge. The pain is indescribable. My lower back is in knots. Pain radiates to right side of abdomen. Legs go numb. Chiropractic doctor rubs and gives exercises but i can’t do the exercises. I take 2 tramadol a day just to walk and do everyday things. Anyone know what this could be

  11. Jana Reply

    when I do plank or push ups with pressure on stomach , I see right bottom is swallowing and painful. I need to lay down and push that area down to adjust normal . I feel like stomach is coming out of that weak muscle until I lay down and let it settle down.
    is this core muscle weakness? I have got this problem 15 years ago when I have done heavy abdominal exercise one day, since then it is keep coming whenever my exercise adds pressure on my stomach. It wont come if I do light exercises but comes when I put continuous pressure for example I do 30 push ups and immediately do plank , if I give enough gap between 2 exercises I do not see this problem.


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