Skip Nav
Healthy Eating Tips
Do These 10 Things in Your Kitchen to Lose Weight
Before and After
A Before and After That Proves a Number on the Scale Means Nothing
Healthy Recipes
Try These Protein-Packed, Healthy Thai Shrimp Wraps From a Yogi's Kitchen

Core Knowledge

Fitness types toss the term "core" around with little explanation, leaving many people confused and believing that ab work, like crunches, is strengthening their core. But this is not the case; the core is not simply the muscles on the front of your body. Nope. The core is three-dimensional, and in general terms you can think of it as your torso. One of my favorite definitions of the core is that it runs from your nipples to your knees.

Essentially, the core stabilizes your pelvis, low back, and rib cage, and it is made up of many muscle groups: all four layers of your abdominal muscles, including the obliques and transversus; the muscles on either side of the spine; the little muscles that run vertebrae to vertebrae know as the multifidi; as well as your glutes, hip flexors, and inner thighs. In Pilates, we also include the pelvic floor as part of the core; these small deep muscles help stabilize the pelvis.

To see how these muscles work together

.

All these muscles work together to maintain torso stability, but I feel a working core is easiest to feel if you imagine sandwiching your spine with your deep abs and deep spinal muscles, like when holding plank. When you add leg movement to a plank, like a donkey kick, you are challenging your core even more. You should feel your core working during squats as well as boat pose in yoga. And if you don't feel your back and abs working together, imagine that sandwiching sensation and know that if you pull your abs toward your spine without moving the vertebrae, the muscles in your back will be working too.

Looking for more exercise to strengthen your core, now that you know crunches are not targeting all the elements of your core? Check out these core exercises.

Source

Around The Web
Join The Conversation
DeviousMuse DeviousMuse 7 years
Yeah, I didn't realize it went to your knees... we always say its from your "'T' to your 'A'" :)
gabiushka gabiushka 7 years
All the way to your knees? And I thought I knew what the core was...
gabiushka gabiushka 7 years
All the way to your knees? And I thought I knew what the core was...
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
Core is key!
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
Core is key!
Gabby Douglas's Gymnastics Routines | Video
How to Get Free Boutique Fitness Classes
Dominique Dawes at the Olympics (Video)
Laurie Hernandez Makes Olympics Gymnastics Team 2016 (Video)
Female Baseball Players | Video
Tips For Exercising in Summer Heat and Humidity
Embrace Documentary (Video)

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
X