At the Core of It: Creating Strength and Tension in the Body
The human body is made up of many different parts. These include bones, organs, tendons, ligaments, nerves and blood vessels.
All these are essential for our survival but they do not work together perfectly like a well-oiled machine. Each part has its own purpose which must be fulfilled at all costs if it is to continue functioning properly. For example, the heart pumps oxygenated blood throughout our bodies. Without it, we would die. However, without enough oxygen to the brain and other vital organs, death will occur soon after. Therefore, the heart needs to pump blood efficiently so that all vital functions can continue.
In order for your body to move effectively you need strong legs and feet; powerful arms and hands; flexible joints; good balance; and most importantly endurance – strength to withstand fatigue over time.
It is these various roles that make up what is known as the “core”.
Core Muscles: The Inner Core (Anterior)
The anterior core consists of several muscles located in front of your spine. They are called the psoas major, psoas minor, rectus abdominis, transversalis and obliques.
These muscles originate from the pelvic floor and attach to your lower back via long fibers called fascia. The rectus abdominis (the “six-pack” muscles) and the transversus abdominis lie under the external obliques. These muscles help with flexing the spine. When you do exercises such as sit-ups, you are working these muscles.
The psoas major is the main flexor for the hip while the iliacus is an inferior partner muscle that attaches to the front of the thigh. The psoas minor is a smaller, more difficult to activate muscle and originates in the lumbar spine.
It attaches to the front of the hip bone. These muscles are important for engine-like activity such as walking or running and help with stabilization of the spine.
The iliopsoas, as this pair is collectively known, is part of a group of muscles that make up what is called the “deep six”. These are hip-dominant muscles and work to pull the upper leg back.
They are sometimes classified as part of the core but are more commonly recognized as part of the actives chain – a combination of muscles that provide movement at a joint.
The inner core is important for providing strong foundations for the body. It helps with stabilization during more dynamic movements such as running, throwing or jumping and also works to keep your body upright during these activities.
Sources & references used in this article:
The role of core stability in athletic function by WB Kibler, J Press, A Sciascia – Sports medicine, 2006 – Springer
Core stability training: applications to sports conditioning programs by JM Willardson – The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 2007 – akot.com.ar
The importance of sensory-motor control in providing core stability by J Borghuis, AL Hof, KAPM Lemmink – Sports medicine, 2008 – Springer