The 'core training' or 'core muscle training' refers to the exercises and nutrition programs specific to the development and maintenance of the abdominal and back muscles.
The following comprise the main 'core' muscles. All of these muscles are key to actively supporting the lumbar spine and resist external forces put on the back and spine.
- Transversus Abdominis (TA)
- Multifidus (MF)
- Internal Oblique (IO)
- Paraspinal muscles
- Pelvic floor muscles
Why am I telling you all this?
I would like you to note that rectus abnominis (the muscle that creates the 'six-pack' look) is not among the list of core muscles and as a result the exercises for this muscle, sit-ups and crunches etc. are not 'core exercises'. Sure enough they shall exercise the front of your abdomen and may make your tummy look better, but they are not going helping your back problem!!
So what? What is the big deal about core stability? Why do we need to worry about our back and abdominal muscles so much?
No matter what movement you do your core is involved. If you lift your arm, move your head, raise your knee or wiggle your toes, you are in fact activating your core, even though, all of these movements seem unrelated to your abdomen and back.
If your core becomes weakened by misuse/ disuse then the necessary protection to bring about efficient bodily movement is not there. This can often lead to injury - any injury!!
Thus, as with posture, 'core stability' may be part of your rehabilitation in a seemingly unrelated problem.
Health Tip - Core Stability/ Postural
The modern day sedentary lifestyle contributes significantly to the degeneration of postural reflexes. Muscles and other bodily functions degenerate rapidly from inactivity. Therefore, probably the best cure for sub-standard postural reflexes is to demand higher functioning from them. Here are some specific, practical examples of how you can do that:
- Generally increase your activity level.
- Sit on an exercise ball or a wobble cushion (a funny little balloon pillow that creates an unstable surface) instead of a chair while working at the computer.
- Take up yoga, pilates, tai chi, dance classes, martial arts or any other activity that specifically requires coordination and core stability.
- Specific Core Exercises