The “core” is not just your abdominals and training your CORE has many benefits beyond getting a six pack. But what is the CORE? The term CORE is used to describe the muscles that provide spinal and pelvic stability. This includes the deep muscles around the spine (multifidus is the main one), hip muscles (gluteal muscles are the main ones), pelvis (pelvic floor is the main one) and diaphragm. The abdominals are also major players in training the CORE as they act as a large corset that wraps around the trunk attaching to the pelvis, lower back and ribs. When these complex group of muscles are working together equally the main results are minimal joint load leading to less injuries and an increase athletic ability and stability. The icing on the cake is the aesthetics, however you can still have a beer belly and a strong CORE at the same time. Just look at a strong man competition, you have to have a strong CORE to be able to pick up a tire without injuring your lower back, but also notice they don’t have a six pack in site!
What’s important when training your CORE is you don’t over do or under do one of these muscles, they must be working equally. Think of your core like it’s a spiders web of various lines, slack in one line will cause tension in another. Meaning you could have strong glutes yet weak transversus abdominals which could lead to lower back pain and visa versa. All these muscles must work together in order to yield the best result whether its injury prevention or fitness progression.
As a personal trainer, Pilates Instructor and ex competitive athlete, I work on the CORE with all my clients no matter what their goals are. I remind my type A personality clients that I will need to slow them down sometimes as my approach is not a quick fix but sustainable weight loss or athletic performance. In order to have that my clients need to be injury free. If I went full steam ahead with heavy weights and/or impact exercises with a client who had a weak core then their fitness journey may be cut short due to injuries. Do not rush your training, be smart and work on that CORE, your back, knees and goals will thank you for it.
CORE 45 – abdominals, glutes, back and more. Check out our fantastic personal trainers who teach this class: Wayne Edwards, Rachel Rivers and Luce Ingram. And don’t be afraid to combine CORE 45 with a BURN class. Either activate your CORE before a BURN class or keep it burning and hop into a class after. All CORE 45 classes start with 5 minutes of foam rolling and mobility and end with a stretch.
by Rachel Rivers