What image comes to mind when when you hear the word "core" ?
“Core” has been the big buzzword for the past few years, and there's a reason for it. And, impertinently, the core consists of much more than the sexy summer 6-pack! The core consists of all the muscles in your abdominal section and lower back area. This includes all the abdominal muscles as well as the muscles associated with the spine and the hip flexors.
Having strong core muscles is very important for the body. These muscles are used in every move you make, whether walking, running, snowboarding or surfing. Strong core muscles help prevent lower back pain; allow you to make powerful athletic moves, and create good posture. They are also a major factor in balance. The stomach area is only ONE part of the core. Doing only ab work will leave the rest of your trunk weak and subject to injury. A true core workout also includes the sides of the trunk and the back.
For those of you out there that want six pack abs, try laying off of the crunches and start attending to neglected muscles that are also important to your core - your body will thank you for it!
Author: Julia Anthony
B.S. Exercise Specialist, CSCS, NASM CPT