We have all heard the term Core Strength. If one were to ask the ‘man-on-the-street’ what Core strength is the reply would probably be about stomach muscles or abs.
In fact, core strength has little to do with a ripped six pack. Yes, we all want to have chiselled physiques and look like bronze gods when we laze on Clifton 4th, but before we get there we need to start with the basics.
A house needs a solid foundation before it can be built and the same is true with our bodies. Our core is our foundation. The deep seated, slow twitch muscles that rely heavily on oxygen to operate are the little guys that keep us standing all day. They stop us from losing our balance and keep us from stumbling when we need to be poised. To avoid a lengthy anatomy lesson, I will briefly explain what our ‘core’ consists of:
- Transverse abdominus – this muscle runs horizontally from left hip to right hip underneath the “abs”
- Internal obliques
- Pelvic floor
- Lower-lumbar sacral spine – lower back
- Multifidie – small v-shape muscles that run up the spine
These muscles are the hardest working muscles in your body and should engage when the thought about moving arises. The more unbalanced you are, the harder your core muscles are working. Test your core now; put your fingers just inside either side of your hip, about a cm below your belly button. Now cough. The muscle that you felt engage was transverse abdominus.
The next step is to remember to engage and utilise your core while doing every day tasks, and remember to engage your core while doing the core exercises.