What is core stability?

Core stability is the ability to control the muscles of your core, so you have a good central support for the rest of your body. Your core is located in your abdomen and lower back, and is made up of a group of muscles that act together to support that area.

The main muscles that make up the core are:

  • Transversus abdominus
  • Internal obliques
  • External obliques
  • Multifidus.

The first three form the deepest layers of the abdominal muscles. While they are less showy than the rectus abdominis (think of your six-pack), they give a lot more support. The multifidus is a collection of small muscle fibres that run from your sacrum up your lower back.

If not used correctly, these muscles can lose their strength. This condition can be caused by injury or poor posture. The good news is that you can retrain and strengthen the muscles with some simple exercises.

Why is core stability important?

Core stability is important as it enables the rest of the body to move freely without causing injury to the lower back. As the centre of the body, the lower back is the pivot point between the upper and lower body. It is therefore subject to stress and strain, particularly during movement.

A strong core will allow you to move more safely and with greater functionality. Most activities use the core, even though you may not know it. The core acts as a base of support allowing you to be stronger in other movements. The core is particularly important with any activity that increases the load through your lower back. If you plan any lifting, whether weights or just moving house, you should work on your core.

The core is also very important for posture. If you work at a desk and spend hours sitting, or if day-to-day activities put you in awkward physical positions, then having a strong core is essential. Good posture requires a strong base to build upon. How can you keep your upper back in a good position if you don’t have the strength to keep your lower back in a good position?

Research has also shown that good core stability can be important in the prevention and treatment of lower limb issues. The core will help to keep your lower back and pelvis, which support your legs, functioning well.

It’s hard to realise the extent that a strong core helps you in your day-to-day life. To appreciate the value of your core, talk to anyone who has had a caesarean. A caesarean cuts open the core, and women who have had the procedure find it difficult to do so many little small things that would normally be easy.

Stay tuned for our next blog, as we will give you a few tips and exercises for strengthening your core.

If you want a more thorough assessment and some core exercises, contact Jason at Excellence Coaching 0411 494 889 or at [email protected]