Understanding “The Core”: Not Just Your Abs

We have all heard about “The Core” and know that we need to work on “The Core”.  But what is it and why is it important?

The basic premise of human movement is the reason why The Core is important.  To move, there must be a stable base from which muscles can act to then move the joints of our body.  Imagine walking on a 4-foot high balance beam and you may appreciate the concept of stability.  Muscles in your stance leg are working to keep you on the beam (stability), while other muscles are moving your other leg to step forward (mobility).

All human movement occurs through a complex sequencing of different muscle groups that interact in either a stability or a mobility manner.  The body’s center of gravity is typically the basis for most daily movements and needs to be stabilized first before simple things like taking a step, turning to reach, or bending can occur.  Imagine the complexity of the stability demands when we run, jump, ride, swing, or throw!

The various muscles that provide stability around the body’s center of gravity are what we know as “The Core” and it is not just the abs.  In fact, there are 4 groups of abdominal muscles, and two of them look good on infomercials but are not as significant in terms of stabilizing the center of gravity.  The transverse abdominus and internal oblique have a much bigger role but also work together with certain spinal muscles, like the multifidus to control the center of gravity in all movements.

Stresses and strains, repetitive activities, and injuries can all influence these stabilizing muscles, limit their ability to function properly, and lead to movement imbalances with pain and inflammation.  The ability to properly identify the root cause of the movement dysfunction is the key.  It’s not always a matter of just “work my abs.”

Call 609-436-0366 and let Fluid Physio’s experts in the human movement system find and address problems with “The Core” and help you get back to activities you love!