The core muscles
core refers to the sets of muscles that surround your stomach and
hips. They are vital for true health and essential to stopping back
pain, muscle aches and making your stomach flat.
role of the core
Core muscles are used to support the spine. The deep core muscles
exert a pressure on the spine to hold it in place. The more superficial
core muscles support these inner muscles as well as creating movement
and stability of the mid section.
working correctly the muscles will produce a flatter stomach, as
the transverse abdominal (one of the deep core muscles) draws your
stomach inwards. Developing a healthy set of core muscles will reduce
if not clear your back pain. If performing any athletic event they
provide extra stability which will enhance the ability to exert
strength in your movement.
the muscles are awake.
muscles often become what are known as sleeping muscles, this means
the body has stopped using them for a variety of reasons, e.g. to
prevent further pain. When this occurs you need to follow a core
activation programme to wake these muscles back up.
the core is fully functioning and you are able to activate the muscles
it is necessary to strengthen and develop them to stabilize the
body. The idea of the training is to increase your strength and
stability way above anything encountered in daily living or life.
following basic programme should be used by everyone before starting
out on a core training programme. It is a simple routine that should
be performed regularly. If possible try and tag this onto the end
of your daily active stretching
routine. The principles of this can also be taken before each
resistance training exercise.
Deep breathing – Find your neutral spine using a wall to guide
you and practice breathing using your diaphragm, do this by pushing
you belly out when you inhale air. Repeat for 10 breaths.
• Pelvic floor activation – Standing with a neutral
spine try contracting the pelvic floor muscles at the back then
through to the front, e.g. stop your self going to the toilet at
the back then the front. Repeat this wave of muscle contractions
• Stomach muscle activation (upwards) – Tense your stomach
in a wave like method from the bottom to the top. e.g. draw in your
stomach area below your belly button, then above your belly button
before finally the very top of the abdominal's. Relax and repeat
this wave of muscle tensing for 10 repetitions.
• Stomach muscle activation (Laterally) – Tense your
stomach in a wave like method from the left hand side to the right
hand side and back e.g. draw in your stomach muscles on the very
left hand side, then the middle, then the right hand side. Relax,
then repeat the contraction from right to left. Repeat 10 times.
• Core pulsing – Using a wall find your neutral spine,
now breath using your diaphragm, now engage your core by contracting
the pelvic floor then traverse abdominal's. Squeeze all these muscles
(‘the core’) as tight as possible for five second then
relax, repeat 10 times.
• Core Hold – Follow the previous to engage the core
muscles, this time hold for as long as possible. Gradually build
up to a minute.
routine should not take long and needs to be performed regularly
at first until the body is used to activating the core without too
much effort. At this point begin a core training programme.