About The Core

About The Core

Core

Core stability is one of the most frequently used and abused terms in exercise and rehabilitation. At the core of the issue are questions such as What are my core muscles? Am I using them correctly? How do I train them?

Your core muscles involve a few key muscles which are hard wired at a brain level to all work together when the body is pain-free. They run like the wall of a canister surrounding the abdomen and spine.

The muscles involved are:

1. Transverses Abdominis

  • This is the deepest layer of the abdominal muscles
  • Runs like a corset horizontally around your abdomen
  • Functions by working from your inside to increase spinal stability
  • Usually turns on a few milliseconds before all movements i.e. standing up, rolling over.   
  • Activation is delayed, reduced or ceased with pain especially back pain, and may not automatically restart when pain is removed.

The aim of Pilates is to educate your core to reactivate and for this contraction to become automatic and sub-conscious again.

 

2. The Multifidus

  • This is a thick deep layer of back muscles acting as a vertical strut to support the bones
  • It compresses the spine to prevent shearing and sliding of the joints
  • A helper for your back during the long endurance activities such as sitting, cycling, running and prolonged standing

 

3. The Pelvic Floor & Diaphragm

The Pelvic Floor is involved in:

  • Protecting the bladder and bowel
  • Supporting the bladder, bowel and uterus or prostate particularly during activities for high load such as jumping, hopping or running
  • Controlling bladder and bowel function to avoid leakage
  • Increasing abdominal pressure

The Diaphragm is involved in:

  • Breathing Coordinating breathing with movements
  • Increasing spinal stability i.e. specific back control

Other key muscles used for core stability can also include:  

  • Gluteus medius
  • Knee stabilizers
  • Hip flexors
  • The rotator cuff stabilizing muscle groups around the shoulder and the hip
  • Deep neck flexors

 

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