What are the core muscles?
The muscles of the core run the length of the trunk and torso. The following list includes the most commonly identified core muscles as well as the lesser known groups.
- Rectus Abdominis - located along the front of the abdomen, this is the most well-known abdominal muscle and is often referred to as the "six-pack" due to it's appearance in fit and thin individuals.
- Erector Spinae- This group of three muscles runs along your neck to your lower back.
- Multifidus - located under the erector spinae along the vertebral column, these muscles extend and rotate the spine.
- External Obliques - located on the side and front of the abdomen.
- Internal Obliques - located under the external obliques, running in the opposite direction.
- Transverse Abdominis (TVA) - located under the obliques, it is the deepest of the abdominal muscles (muscles of your waist) and wraps around your spine for protection and stability.
- Hip Flexors - located in front of the pelvis and upper thigh. The muscles that make up the hip flexors include: psoas major, illiacus, rectus femoris, pectineus, sartorius
- Gluteus medius and minimus - located at the side of the hip
- Gluteus maximus, hamstring group, piriformis - located in the back of the hip and upper thigh leg.
- Hip adductors - located at medial thigh.
What are some of the benefits of good core strength?
- A Strong Core May Reduces Back Pain
Abdominals are only a small part of what makes up the core. Weak and unbalanced core muscles that are linked to low back pain. Weak core muscles can lead to a loss of the are lumbar curve and a swayback posture. Stronger, balanced core muscles help maintain posture and reduce strain on the spine.
- A Strong Core May Improve Athletic Performance
The trunk and torso stabilize the spine from the pelvis to the neck and shoulder, thus allowing they the transfer of power to the arms and legs. Power moves originate from the center of the body out.
- A Strong Core May Improve Postural Imbalances
Training the muscles of the core may help correct postural imbalances that can lead to injuries. One of the major benefit of core training is the development of functional fitness; the level of fitness necessary to carry out daily living and regular activities.
What are some of the exercises that build core strength?
Good core strengthening exercises are those that work the front and back of the torso at the same time. Abdominal bracing is a basic technique used during core exercise training. There are many exercises that will strengthen the entire core. A large number of core strengthening exercises can be done at home, with bodyweight with no equipment while some require the use of equipment and small apparatus.
What are the best core exercises?
- Plank Exercise: Start Position | Finish Position
- Side Plank Exercise: Start Position | Finish Position
- The Basic Push Up
- Push Ups
- Back Bridge
- Hip Lift
- Oblique Twist
- Plank on a Balance Ball
- Lunge with Twist