One of the most overused phrases in health and fitness – “you need to strengthen your core” “it all comes from your core” “use your core” but what the hell does it actually mean and how do you know if you have it turned on?
Good question, read on to find out whether you have a core and what does having a core means for you!
Well, to start your core is not your 6 pack, in fact you can have a 6 pack and have a weak core. Your core is in fact what lies beneath your global muscle system (aka your cosmetic abdominals). The local muscle system is made up of several muscles including multifidus, transverse abdominus and obliques to just name a few.
These muscles first need to be retrained to activate as they are often overpowered by the much stronger / larger global superficial musculature. Once retrained, it’s time to strengthen and train for endurance tasks.
Here are 3 great exercises for your "core"
1. Supine Bridge
2. Pelvic Tilt
3. TA Activation
Without activation, strength and endurance, you simply risk injury regardless of how strong you appear on the outside. By having a core you can exercise sustainably which means you can continue to build your strength, endurance and more importantly maintain a healthy lifestyle.
So here is our proposal, let’s get rid of the overused and in our opinion the overrated word “core” and replace with foundation. Similar to a house, lay the foundation (local muscle system), build your walls (strength), put the roof on (sport, goal, functional or work specific) and then connect the utilities and keep them running (muscular endurance). If you want, then get an interior designer to fine tune your appearance to ensure you are instagram ready (no filter needed), but this final step is optional
Just like a house, if you miss a step, things will fall down. You can’t put a roof on first? So before you start doing anything too crazy in the gym…. think about lying a solid FOUNDATION first.