The Importance of Strong Core Muscles

Never Underestimate the Importance of Strong Core Muscles

As an Austin personal trainer for over 20 years, one thing I cannot stress enough to clients is the importance of strong core muscles. The core is essential for virtually everything we do, be it gardening, working out, moving from one place to another, getting out of bed, and so on. Without a strong core, you are setting yourself for future problems, both strength wise, as well as posturally.

There’s a big misconception out there about what muscles actually comprise the core muscles. Therefore, it is no wonder that people underestimate the importance of strong core muscles. Most people think their abdominal muscles are their core muscles. Unfortunately, some personal trainers hold that belief as well. While the core muscles engage with the abdominals, they are a wholly different set of muscles. The rectus abdominis are two long flat muscles which run along the front of the body from the pubis to the sternum. They act to allow us to bend forwards, backwards, and to the sides. It also serves to control the pelvic tilt as well as the positioning of the erector spinae, which is a core muscle, running along the backside near one’s pant line. The core, on the other hand, albeit not the erector spinae, run underneath the abdominal muscles and serve an entirely different function.

The core muscles are comprised of the diaphragm, transverse abdominis, pelvic floor, internal obliques, as opposed to the potentially visible obliques when a person is lean enough. The multifidus, and the erector spinae round out the bunch. The importance of strong core muscles lies within their function. They are stabilizing muscles as opposed to prime movers. For example, when you sit up in bed and rotate to the side where you will then swing your legs over the side and stand up, you are using a whole host of muscles. The glutes, abs, tfl’s, pectineus, etc. What is stabilizing these muscles and allowing them to function properly without being over ridden by other muscles who have stabilizing roles themselves, are the core muscles.

Recently, many people in the fitness world have been including all kinds of different muscles into the core. For example, it is written often that the lats and traps are core muscles. This is simply not true in the purest sense of what we define as core muscles medically, as well as historically. The core muscles reside in the abdominal region and are the epicenter of stability for the body throughout movement, as well as at rest while performing tasks. The latter, is an example of static core function.

Static core function is simply the ability of the core muscles to hold the body in a fixed position while an unwavering force is being generated against it. The popular example is that of a soldier laying in the prone position with his or her rifle, waiting to shoot. His or her body cannot flex, or move while aiming or shooting, or else the shot will be off target. The importance of strong core muscles is perfectly exemplified there within.

How does one go about strengthening their core muscles? That, like anything in fitness, is individual. Sweeping statements about what exercises are the best are silly unless I’m talking to an individual. One size doesn’t fit all in fitness, and that’s why it’s called personal training, as opposed to what I refer to as impersonal training. Planks are a good starting point, generally speaking, unless there are shoulder area issues to be concerned with. Hanging leg raises are another good exercise, if it’s appropriate for you. Unfortunately, in an article written for the purpose of generalized information, I can’t be specific as to what you should do. It would be impossible to do so responsibly. Start out gently and see how your body reacts. If you are an advanced trainee, you can likely start with planks, side planks, etc, etc. For the newcomers to fitness, getting a session or 2 in with a qualified Austin personal trainer is the most beneficial way to discover, and repair, any imbalances and progress towards your fitness goals.

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My name is Andy Bruchey and I founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition and sports specific training.
The Importance of Strong Core Muscles
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The Importance of Strong Core Muscles
Austin personal trainer Andy Bruchey writes of the importance of having strong core muscles.
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Andy Bruchey- Complete Fitness Design
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About Andy

My name is Andy Bruchey and I am a longtime Austin personal trainer having founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition, and sports specific training for professionals. Contact me today to see how I can help you!
3100 W Slaughter Ln Austin , Texas 78748 512-484-2270