If you have read fitness and health related articles, or chatted to fitness influencers and personal trainers, you would have heard the word core quite a bit. Personal trainers especially love to talk about this and the importance of doing exercises that involve, support and strengthen it. But what exactly is it all about? What function does it serve and why is it important?
What is your core?
Most people believe the core is just your abdominal muscles
Your mid-section is not made up of just one muscle. It consists of – essentially – almost every muscle except your arms and your legs. It is comprised of a few major and minor muscles that include your:
- Pelvic floor muscles
- Transversus abdominis
- Internal and external obliques
- Rectus abdominis
- Erector spinae
- Latissimus dorsi
- Gluteus maximus
Your core is used in almost every move you make
It is where your power to perform any kind of movement, no matter how simple or difficult.
It is the link between your upper and lower body and therefore it needs to be strong. Personal trainers focus so much on strengthening and supporting the core while training their clients because it is the centre of the body – it affects every other part of your body and how well you are able to use these various parts to maximum efficiency.
This set of muscles is the stabiliser of your body that either transfers force from one extremity to another or initiates movement itself. There are five components of stability for your mid-section:
- Motor control
Regularly strengthen your abdominals through an effective exercise programme
This is because it is directly responsible for a few seemingly basic but important functions. These include:
- Performing everyday tasks. From intricate activities like playing sports and lifting heavy objects, to the simpler things like simply walking, standing up straight or tying your shoes, without strong abdominals play an intricate part.
- A healthy back: A weak mid-section can lead to constant back pain.
- An injury-free body: A set of abdominals prevent injury while performing any kind of movement, from running to lifting heavy weights.
- Playing sports: Your core strength directly affects how you move.
- Balance and stability: Your abdominals are your body’s stabiliser and keep you balanced while you move.
- Good posture: If the muscles in your mid-section are strong, you will have good posture.
- Protects your internal organs: There is no bone protecting your organs in your trunk, except your ribs and spine which means that your core muscles protect these delicate muscles.
Your abdominals need to be strengthened with exercise on a regular basis. Many people make the mistake of training it like they would train a certain muscle: by isolating it. However, doing a lot of ab work alone will not strengthen your core. To accomplish this you need to perform a variety of compound movements that target every muscle in your core, not just your abs.
When you sign up for Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Comprehensive Pilates Certification, you’ll learn the exercises that you can teach your clients to help them shape up their core. That’s just the start!