The Difference Between Abs And Core Muscles


the difference between abs and core muscles

What Is The Difference Between Abs And Core Muscles?

As I have mentioned several times in my blogs, over the course of 22 years as a personal trainer in Austin, I get asked a lot of questions related to fitness and health. Some of it is trivial stuff, some of it is simply asking how I feel about a certain fitness program such as CrossFit, or the like, and sometimes it’s more anatomical in nature. The other day, a young lady in my gym asked me what is the difference between abs and core muscles. Her understanding was that they are one and the same as her previous trainer at a big box gym had told her they are one and the same muscle group

A lot of people make that same mistake and don’t recognize there is a difference between abs and core muscles. Not only are they 2 different sets of muscles, but they have 2 distinctly different functions, with a little bit overlap. That overlap, coupled with their proximity, is likely the reasoning for the confusion. The abdominal muscles, or the abs, as they’re commonly referred to, are the positioned above, as in on top of the core muscles in the sense that they are closer to the skin. When you have a 6 pack, which is a very common fitness goal, you will have visible abdominal muscles. The core muscles, however, are underneath them, and aren’t visible, no matter how well developed they are, or how lean you become.

The difference between abs and core muscles is simply that the abs are crucial for the seating of the pelvis, as well as providing a few other vital functions. The core muscles, on the other hand, are the epicenter of stability for our bodies. There is even a core muscle on the back side of our bodies called the erector spinae. As it sounds, it’s job is to stabilize the low back. These aren’t to be confused with the spinal erectors that line up vertically along the spinal column in order to support it.

Having a strong core is extremely important as stated in thisessay I wrote. It keeps you stable and fluid in your movements. A strong set of abdominal muscles is vital as well because it not only influences the situating of the pelvis, the protection of our organs, but they also help with aspiration as they stabilize us and help throughout the process of breathing.

When training to develop these muscles, the difference between abs and core muscles becomes readily apparent. While you can certainly have some overlap and train one alongside the other, to some extent, in order to fully train each one, you will need succinctly different movements. For example, a basic crunch is considered more of an abdominal exercise when performed correctly. There’s not of core muscle stimulation in this movement since the body is relatively stable throughout the range of motion. If you consider hanging from a pull up bar and performing leg raises so the tops of your thighs are parallel with the floor a core exercise, you are mistaken. That too is primarily an abdominal exercise. If, however, you were to hang a couple of straps from the pull up bar, slip your arms all the way through them, and then commence doing leg raises, you would in fact be exercising your core muscles. What’s the difference? The difference is that if you are being stabilized by an apparatus, etc, you aren’t having to stabilize yourself. Those are going to be primarily abdominal muscle exercises. It is when you have to provide the stability yourself, that you are using more of your core muscles.

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The Difference Between Abs And Core Muscles
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The Difference Between Abs And Core Muscles
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Austin personal trainer Andy Bruchey explains the difference between the abs and the core muscles and what each is responsible for.
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Andy Bruchey- Complete Fitness Design
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Andy
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.

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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