The abdominal 'corset' is what you usually think of for your core, but as mentioned in the last post it's much more than your six-pack abs. The abdominal muscles can be categorized into 2 groups: local and global muscles.
Local muscles are located deep and attach directly to the low back vertebra. They act to directly stiffen, stabilize, and sense where the spine is. They include:
Global muscles are located on the surface. They help mobilize the trunk and support the local muscles during more dynamic movements (like a golf swing or soccer kick). They include:
It's important instead to have a foundation of endurance and full control over your local stabilizers, so they can transfer strength through he shoulders and hips
Last time we talked about how the core is what joins our upper and lower half of our body together. When moving, it conserves energy to be transferred somewhere else. Here's a real example: ex-Blue Jays pitcher Drew Storen. Yes, he probably has a six-pack but more importantly, notice how all areas of his body co-ordinate for one single movement. The 'Core' is the central piece to this movement.
His lead hip is planted, his pelvis rotates inward. Next his core stays strong and rotates to transfer energy from one part of the body to the other. A great analogy is if you've ever seen the move Indiana Jones, where he cracks his whip. When the whip cracks, it needs that same quality of strength and elasticity. Could you imagine if the whip was only a meter long, or if the material was made of foam? There would be no power to the whip! The same occurs for runners, throwers, almost any body movement!
Without this combination of control and mobility, energy leaks into areas it shouldn't (low back, elbow) potentially causing injury. The same thing happens in everyday life (picking up a heavy box). Without control and stiffness of your centre, energy leaks into your low back or neck causing pain.
Next post we'll dive into the key 'engine' components and their anatomy.
Maybe the most common question we get in the office: 'How can I strengthen my core, and have abs?' Hut do most individuals actually understand what 'the core' really is? Do they understand how to train it properly, and why it plays a pivitol role in physical health?
Most people's idea of the core comes from gym class: doing 30 sit-ups in a row, holding a plank as long as possible. But as you can guess it's more complicated than this. From a functional standpoint your core is much more than your six-pack. It essentially includes any muscle that moves and stabilizes the trunk. This includes what has been described as the core 'engines' which include:
Quite simply this entire area of the body serves as the center of your kinetic chain universe. It's the foundation and the 'engine' of all limb movement. If you have great control of this anatomical powerhouse it has awesome consequences from MLB pitcher, to grandpa:
The key term we use is 'Control'. From the shoulder to torso to hips, we want that nice combination of 'strength and flexibility'. Being able to co-ordinate these components into one fluid act is the true 'CORE.' It allows the transfer of kinetic energy from one part of the body to the other.
Over the next 2 posts we'll go over the core 'engines' that drive our movement and some simple exercises you can use for each.
Now that it's 2017 many of us will have the New Year's resolution of getting in shape. But why is it that some individuals can get right back on the treadmill, while others find it difficult to get started? The talk below explains some of the science behind this.
Milner Chiropractic and Sports Injury Clinic