When it comes to fitness and exercise, the term "core" is often thrown around, but what exactly does it mean? The core is more than just a buzzword; it's a crucial component of our bodies that plays a significant role in our overall health and fitness.
In this post, we will delve into what we mean when we say "the core" and explore the muscles that make up this important group.
What is "The Core"? The core refers to a group of muscles that work in unison to provide stability, strength, and support to the spine, pelvis, and hips. It is not limited to just the abs, as many people commonly think this is the case. The core muscles are located deep within the torso and consist of both superficial and deep muscles.
Muscles that Make Up the Core:
Rectus Abdominals: This is the most well-known core muscle and is often referred to as the "six-pack" muscle. It runs down the front of the abdomen and is responsible for flexing the spine, which helps in movements like crunches.
Transverse Abdominals: This is the deepest core muscle that wraps around the abdomen like a corset. It plays a crucial role in stabilising the spine and pelvis and is engaged during movements that require bracing and stability, such as lifting heavy objects.
Obliques: There are two sets of oblique muscles - internal obliques and external obliques - that are located on the sides of the abdomen. These muscles allow for rotation and lateral flexion of the spine and help with stability and balance.
Multifidus: This deep muscle runs along the spine and helps to maintain stability by supporting the vertebrae. It is essential for maintaining proper posture and is often overlooked but plays a critical role in core strength.
Erector Spinae: These muscles are located on the lower back and are responsible for extending the spine. They play a crucial role in maintaining good posture and stability during movements like bending and lifting.
Pelvic Floor Muscles: These muscles form the base of the core and provide support to the pelvic organs. They are involved in controlling bowel and bladder movements and play a role in core stability.
In conclusion, the core is not just a set of abdominal muscles, or your six 6 pack, but a complex group of muscles that work together to provide stability, strength, and support to the spine, pelvis, and hips. A strong core is crucial for overall health and wellbeing, and can be best targeted through strength training, especially lifting heavy in a controlled environment.