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自宅で気軽にできるエクササイズで体の芯(コア)の筋力を強化!

気軽にできるエクササイズで体の芯(コア)の筋力を強化!

2014年8月26日 • Health

初めてアパレルのお店でバイトをした時、人間の体にどれだけ筋肉があるのかに気づいたのを覚えている。週4回、1日8時間というスケジュールでの立ち仕事だったため、重いものを運んだりどこかへ走ったりということはなかったものの、初日はさすがにヘトヘトで、翌日はひどい筋肉痛で、背中全体が特にひどかった。その時筋肉が必要だと思い知らされたもの。

「筋肉」と聞いてまず思い浮かべるのが、露出の多い腕や足の筋肉かもしれない。でも長期的な健康管理で考えて、私たちの体に最も影響のある筋肉といえば体の芯のもの(以下コアマッスル)。何故なら靴を履く、皿洗いをするなど日常生活全てにおいて必要だから。コアマッスルが弱ってしまうと、体のバランスの崩れ、腰痛、さらには屈んだ時に呼吸がしづらくなるなどの症状が出てしまうので注意が必要。 1

体の芯とは言っても腹筋だけではなく、肩~背中~腰の筋肉も含む。普段生活しているとこれらの筋肉にあまり気づくことはないけれど、8時間のバイトの後にはこれらが大切だと気づかずにはいられなかった。

もしコアマッスルに自信がなかったら、次の自宅で気軽にできるエクササイズ3つを、自分の体力と相談しながら可能なだけ試してみてほしい。

椅子のポーズ

①足を閉じたまま背筋を伸ばしてまっすぐ立つ
②腕を左右とも頭上に伸ばし、そのまま椅子に座るように腰を下ろす
③椅子に座るのと同じくらいの位置で静止し、腿とお腹の筋肉を感じながらその姿勢を30秒~1分ほど保ち、ゆっくり立ち上がる

椅子のポーズ

船のポーズ

①背中に負担のないよう、ヨガマットなどを床に敷いて仰向けの姿勢をとる
②ゆっくりと上半身と両足をまっすぐにしたまま起こす
③両腕を膝の方へ伸ばし、膝を触ることができるくらいの位置で、腿から上半身が「V」の形にする
④お腹の筋肉を感じながらその姿勢を30秒~1分ほど保ち、ゆっくりと上半身と両足を床に戻す

船のポーズ

木のポーズ

①足を閉じたまま背筋を伸ばしてまっすぐ立つ
②ゆっくりと右足を上げ、かかとを左足の内腿につけて三角形の形を作る
③腕を肩と並行、もしくは頭上へまっすぐ伸ばすか、胸の前で祈りのポーズを作ってその姿勢を30秒~1分ほど保ち、ゆっくりと腕と足を元の位置に戻す
④左足でも同じく①~③を繰り返す

※もし片足でバランスをとるのが難しければ、足の位置を動かして調整する。もし足を膝まで上げることができなければ、片足を少しだけ床から離す程度でもOK。

木のポーズ

これらのエクササイズは全て、動いて心拍数を上げるというよりは、ある一定の姿勢を保つことで筋肉を活性化するもの。だからこそいつの時間でも、どこにいてもできるのが魅力。時間と人のいない静かな場所を見つけたら、エクササイズをしてみてほしい。しばらく続ければその成果が表れて、コアとバランスが改善されていることに気づくはずだから。

【英語原文】(クリックして表示)

Title: Take Care of Your Body with Simple Exercises for Balance and Core Strength

The first time I worked in a clothing shop, I realized how many muscles the human body had. My part-time job required standing on my feet for eight hours a day, four times a week. I never had to run anywhere, and I never had to carry anything heavy, but after the first day I was still exhausted–and when I woke up on the morning of my second day, I was so sore! I felt this huge ache up and down my back all along my spine. I had never thought about it, but of course there are muscles there—and as it turns out, they’re pretty important.

But the most important muscles to our long-term health, and the ones that have a huge impact on how well we can operate the rest of our body, are the muscles in our core. We use them in everything we do, from putting on our shoes to washing the dishes. Weak core muscles can mean poor balance, back pain, and even poor breathing if you slouch and don’t give your lungs enough space. These include the muscles in our stomach area, and the muscles that run up and down our back. Day to day we might barely notice them, but as I found out after walking around for eight hours a day, we get a lot of use out of those muscles, and they’re important for just about everything we do.

If you’re worried that your core muscles, there are a lot of simple exercises you can do at home to keep them strong. These are just a few examples that I do myself, so please give them a try according to your own abilities and needs:

The Chair Pose
Stand up straight with your legs together. Then, lift your arms over your head and lower your backside down as if you were going to sit in a chair. Stop when you are just above where you would touch the “chair” and hold the position. You should feel your muscles working on the top of your thighs and in your stomach. Hold this as long as you can, from 30 seconds to 1 minute, then slowly stand back up.

The Boat Pose
Lie down on a soft but solid surface flat on your back. Then, slowly lift your upper body and your legs, keeping both of them straight. Reach toward your knees with your hands, but don’t hold on. When you can just touch your knees, stop. Hold your body in this V-shape. You should feel your stomach muscles working to keep both sides of your body up off the floor and balanced. Hold as long as you can, from 30 seconds to 1 minute, then slowly lower your legs and upper body back to the floor.

The Tree Pose
Stand up straight with your legs together. Then, slowly raise your right leg and point your knee to the right. Place the sole of your foot on the knee of your standing leg. Balance on one leg with your other leg making a triangle shape. You can put your hands at your sides, straight up over your head, or in a prayer position over your heart. Stand like this for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then lower your right leg to the floor. Repeat the same motion with your left leg. If you have trouble with balance, you should feel the muscles all up and down your leg and in your torso making small adjustments to keep you steady on one foot. If you can’t lift your foot all the way up to your knee, start by just lifting one foot slightly off the floor and standing on one leg as long as you can.

As you can see, these exercises involve holding still in a particular position to activate your muscles, rather than moving strenuously or really getting your heart rate up. As such, you can sneak them in almost any time of day, whether you’re at home, at work, or out and about. Just find a private, quiet place and hold the pose as long as you’re comfortable, then ease out of it feeling like you worked hard. Over time I hope you find your core strength and balance improving.

脚注:

  1. The real-world benefits of strengthening your core“、Harvard Health Publications、2012年1月24日

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