I am sure you have heard the buzzword “core training” by now. I hear it everywhere- but what does coreshutterstock_144796990 training really mean? Unfortunately, many people out there think it is doing hundreds of crunches or sit-ups and calling it a day. In reality, core training is much more than just doing abs. As describes it, the best way to define the “core muscles” is “all muscles which affect the position of the pelvis”. When you think of it this context, you can understand that there are a lot of muscles the make up your “core”. In order to train the core correctly AND effectively, you have to focus on the entire torso area, the muscles surrounding it and work them in all 3 planes of movement (front to back, side to side and rotational). The goals of training your core is to achieve FUNCTIONAL FITNESS- exercising multiple muscles, nerves and joints together to prepare your body for the specific activities of everyday life and sport!

Muscles of the Core

  • Transverse abdominus (TVA): the deepest abdominal muscles that acts like a corset around your spine for protection and stability.
  • Rectus abdominis: aka, the 6-pack muscles.
  • Internal and external obliques: located in the front and side of your abdomen, they run in opposite directions of one another.
  • Erector spinae: runs from your neck to your lower back.
  • Quadratus lumborum: a common cause of low back pain, located in posterior abdominal wall.
  • Hip flexors– psoas major, illiacus, rectus femoris, pectineus, sartorius: located in the front of your pelvis and upper thigh.
  • Gluteus medius and minimus: located on the side of the hip.
  • Gluteus maximus, hamstrings, piriformis: located in the back of the hip and upper thigh.
  • Multifidus: a deep “powerful” back muscle that gives support to the spine.
  • Hip adductors: located in the inner thigh.

Why Train the “True” Core ?

  • Prevent injury
  • Better posture
  • Increase strength
  • Enhance performance
  • Improve overall movement
Is Your Core Strong?

TEST YOUR CORE STRENGTH- Can you do a 2-minute plank?

Experts say that if you can hold a plank for 2 minutes (correctly), you reduce your chance of lower back problems.

5 Real Core Training Exercises

These five exercises will focus on and train your true “core” muscles and the entire body in all planes of motion.

Plank: Work up to holding for 2 minutes. Perform 2-3 sets.


Side Plank: Hold for a minute on each side. Perform 2- 3 sets.


Dead Bugs: As you go through the movement, keep you abs drawn in and your lower back pressed on the floor. Do 10 reps per side for 2-3 sets.






Supermans: Do this as a static exercise, holding in the extended position for up to 1 minute. Or perform moving, do 2 sets of 12-15 reps.


Stability Ball Knee Tucks: As you bring your knees to your chest, keep your abs drawn in and don’t round your shoulder blades. Perform 10-12 reps of 2-3 sets.


Medicine Ball Chops: Start with the ball over one shoulder, bend your knees and twist towards the opposite ankle. Perform 10 reps of 2-3 sets on each side.

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