The core is defined as the innermost part – the center of an object. Likewise, the core in the human body is the midsections of the body known as core muscles. Core muscles are the base of stability from which movement occurs. According to the book “Core Training” by Oswaldo Koch, the core muscles are the transverse abdominis (3,4,and 5th muscle, posterior torso), the Perineil muscle floor (lower torso), and the Gluteal muscle complex (minimus, medius and maximus, anterior torso).
Simply put, “core muscles are a girdle for the torso.” They are also the spines primary stabilizer. This combination of muscles provides stability and support of your spine in every activity. When your exercise or tone your body, you want to build a strong body from the inside out. Build a foundation (your body’s core) before you build definition in isolated muscles.
Since 2000, core training is the focus in the fitness industry. The 90’s fitness world was high-impact, step aerobics and cardio mania based on military training. Before core training, fitness was all about workouts based on aerobics and weight training. Now focus is on low impact core training such as Pilates and Mastermoves.
One of the most important benefits from core training is injury prevention from daily activities and sports, as well as stronger foundations for the practice of sports and body building. Fitness experts learned from the past that burning off the fat with little concern for the joins, small muscles and ligaments is one of the main reasons for back and neck injuries.
When you don’t have core strength, the risk for injuries is high. When standing unsupported, you are limited by your body’s weakest link. This weak link is the strength of your core muscles to stabilize your whole body and not be pulled off balance.
In the process of training your core muscles with programs like Pilates or Mastermoves, your body goes through a sequence of movements from the inside out. Basically, you learn to exercise your body from your core. At the core, the rest of your body’s natural links (the pelvic and shoulder girdles) transfer the movements and forces to the extremities, allowing you to move with efficiency and safety.
Instead of thinking of individual muscles, think of body movements initiated from your core muscles when doing any type of exercise hold your abs and lower back firm to give your entire body support and stability. This technique allows the smaller joints to absorb less stress, allowing the body to work holistically in mass movement patterns and all ranges of motion.