Core 101

Fitness Expert Beth Oliver joined us to explain what core strength is all about...and why it's so important to our well-being.

Here is what Beth has to say:

It seems like everyone is talking about “Core Strength” these days.  So what is it really, and is it really any different from the just plain old sit –ups that we used to do?   Besides the esthetic reasons to firm up your mid section, is there any valid reason to focus on the core?

Here are the important need to know items:

  • The most important reason to strengthen the core is to protect the lower back and to help support the spine.  In a sense to create and maintain great posture.
  • The biggest mis-conception is that the core refers to just the abdominals.  But the core consists of the 4 abdominal muscles as well as the musculature of the shoulders, hips and pelvis.  This grouping gives us power and strength.
  • The 4 main abdominal muscles are:
  1. Rectus abdominus
  2. Internal obliques
  3. External obliques
  4. Transverse abdominus

The transverse abdominus is probably the hardest to teach yourself to engage, but the most important.  To teach yourself to activate the deep internal abdominals just tie a string around your waistline, slightly snug.  Draw your abdominals in and toward your back to creat some space between you and your string.  Now your deep cor muscles are working.

  • To properly train your core you need to do a few things:
  1. Stabilize ( keep movement from happening)
  2. Mobilze ( create movement)
  3. Work in several different positions

Here are a few great exercises:

  • Supine heel drop
  • Prone plank w/ forward and back shift
  • Side plank with elbow to elbow
  • Lunge with oblique twist


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