Core training is the popular method of training nowadays. Everyone is promoting core workouts. But…what is the core? Think of your body as a series of three links in a chain…the lower body(legs) are one link, the midsection(core) is the second, and finally the upper body(arms/shoulders/head) are the third. Imagine pulling on a chain from both ends when the middle link of the chain is broken…the strength and stability of the entire chain is lessened greatly due to the middle chain( your core) being disfunctional.
Center of Gravity on the Human Body: The largest muscles in the human body all start or end around the body’s COG( center of gravity). This is important because all of our movement and stability starts at this point. Therefore, it must be strong and stable so that we can generate more force. If there is an imbalance in the muscles that originate or attach near this point then the rest of the body’s mechanics become disfunctional. This can lead to postural disturbances, injury, and/or decreased performance.
Traditional Training and Therapy Techniques: Many people feel as if this lower back and pelvic area need to be flexible and mobile. This is not the case however. The hips(where the legs or femur attach to the pelvis) should be mobile, the thoracic spine should be mobile—–THE LUMBAR AND PELVIS(SACRUM) NEED STABILITY AND STRENGTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Important Muscles Involved in This “Core Stability”- Modern View:
Gluteus Maximus- Extends Hips and Stabilizes Trunk( Keeps your trunk from falling foward when moving or standing)
Spinal Erectors- Allows for the spine to stay erect and helps us to lift the trunk back up after bending forward
Hamstrings- Helps add stability to knees and hips so that other muscles can do their job more effectively( IF HAMSTRINGS ARE TIGHT AND WEAK- other muscles can’t do their jobs)
Latissimus Dorsi- Pulls arms back, and adds tension to Thoracocolumnar Fascia( this is the fascia that tightens down over the erectors of the spine to add more stability to the lumbo-pelvic hip complex)
Transverse Abdominus, Rectus Abdominus, External/Internal Obliques, Quadratus Lumborum:Tighten around the Midsection like a weight belt or corset. This adds stability to the Spine- by creating a muscular/fascial linkage between the ribcage and the pelvis.
Hip Flexors, Quadriceps, and Groin: These muscles stabilize the front of the trunk( core) . They also help to pull and move the body in a forward direction. These tend to be tighter on most humans today, due to our sitting habits.