The core forms a central link between your upper and lower body. Much like the trunk of a tree, core muscles need to be strong yet flexible. A weak or inflexible core drains power from many movements and can make it extremely difficult to do others. The core, more often than not, functions to prevent motion rather than initiating it, which is contrary to the approaches that many trainers employ in designing exercise for their clients. Good technique in most sporting and daily living tasks demands that power be generated at the hips and transmitted through a stiffened core  Pushing, pulling, lifting, carrying and torsional exertions are enhanced using this basic technique of hip power generation but are compromised when the spine bends and the core is weak.

 

Stuart McGill has a PHD in spine biomechanics (if you've never heard of him do a google search) and has specialised in the lower back for over 30 years, has written so many articles and quite a few books and is the go to guy for many athletes. If you suffer with back pain and a weak core I recommend you take a look at his work. I came across him myself after suffering with a chronic lower back problem, bought his books, listened to and watched a lot of his seminars, all of this helped me so much and also made me realise how important a strong core was not only how it helps prevent lower back pain but also how it helps so many of our daily living tasks let alone more energetic feats taken on by sporting individuals.

 

Here are just a few benefits of a strong core and what it is needed for:

 

Greater efficiency of movement (increased range of motion) improved body control and balance, increased power output from both the core musculature and peripheral muscles such as the shoulders, arms and legs. Helps to reduce the potential for training and sports injuries, improved balance and stability improved athletic performance.

 

While most of us have heard of the tranverse abdominus, quadratus lumborum, erectae spinae, glutes, internal and external obliques as being part of our core muscularity; there is one major player a lot wouldn't probably realise and even put in the same breath as the transverse abdomis, or as being part of the core muscle group. We've all heard of the diaphragm but how many of us know where it is let alone it's function and how it plays a major role in our core stability. 

 

You see real core stability comes from the inside out. Cores definition in the dictionary - the central or innermost part; the basic or most important part; the crucial element or essence. This is how important it is.

 

Yet when people train their core they concentrate on the outermost parts and leave the centre;the nucleus, hollow. The diaphragm is a dome shaped muscle attached to the lower rib cage, thoracic wall and lumbar vertebrae and is our breathing muscle. When you breathe the diaphragm contracts and pushes down into the abdominal cavity, the hollow I referred to earlier. This movement causes a pressure change with the air that we've breathed into the lungs. As a result of this breath and our diaphragm contracting, intra-abdominal pressure increases and lumbar spine stiffness (hence stability) also increases. Contraction of the diaphragm creates core stability from the inside out. For all round core activation we should train it like all other muscle groups, dynamically and statically and just as importantly, probably more importantly, work the core from the inside out with diaphragmatic breathing, for a powerhouse of a midsection.

 

 

If you have a sedentary job or feel your lifestyle has become inactive. Everything seizing up on you or your lower back is causing you discomfort because of inadequate core stability. Why not let me guide you through some exercises or better still re-energise yourself and book a personal training session with me. Don't become a martyr to the discomforts or expanding waist line, with proper guidance and progression let me help you release your inner machine. Contact me.

Our core
 

All gym goers have heard of their core muscles yet how many know what the muscles of the core actually do. Our core is the foundation of our movement and takes up nearly all of our torso and is so much more than just our abs and lower back. Core muscles support the bodies shift in balance, providing a stable foundation for daily activities and exercise.

 

The well trained core is essential for optimal health and performance and injury prevention. Our core muscles can be split into two different muscular categories, stabilizers and movers. The stabilizer muscles attach directly to the spine and support its movement, the movers are the muscles that support the stabilizer muscles and work with them to move your body.