What is Core Stability

We have a core stability class starting at Harton, but what is core stability?

Most people think of the core as having a nice six pack or toned abs, however, the abdominal muscles are only a small part of a group of muscles which give us our core stability and strength.

The ‘core’ actually consists of many different muscles that stabilize the spine, pelvis and shoulder girdle and create a solid base of support. The benefits of a good strong core could be the reduction of back pain, as stronger, balanced core muscles help maintain appropriate posture and reduce strain on the spine. Also, the improvement of athletic performance, as all powerful movements originate from the centre of the body and radiate out to the limbs.

What are the core muscles?

The lists vary from expert to expert however they generally include those that run the length of the trunk and torso.

Rectus Abdominis – the front of the abdomen, generally known as the ‘six pack’ in those who are lean enough to have them.

Erector Spinae – these run from the neck to your lower back

Multifidus – located under the erector spinae along the vertebral column, these muscles extend and rotate the spine.

External Obliques – at the side and front of the abdomen.

Internal Obliques – located under the external oblique’s, running in the opposite direction.

Transverse Abdominis – located under the obliques and wrap around your waist for protection and stability of the spine.

Also included are your Hip Flexors, Adductors and the Gluteus muscles.

Core exercises are most effective when they engage several muscles throughout the torso, the core muscles need to operate together as a unit to coordinate stability and stabilize the spine. Some of the best core exercises are simple bodyweight exercises including; the plank, side plank, the basic press up, squats, pelvic bridge, oblique twists, superman and work on the stability ball or board.

There are of course many more but most of these you can do at home without any equipment.

I hope this has helped to explain a little of the myth surrounding the ‘core’.