• physiomorgan


"The Core". Core exercises are always a hot topic - people get caught up in wanting those beautifully sculpted abs they see on all the fitness models - but the core is SO much more than that! It is our literal centre and it plays a crucial role in our every day activities. It's not just nice to look at. It is essential to our ability to #MoveBetter.

This post will go through some of the basics and then we'll jump into some of my favourite core stabilization exercises.


"The Core" is comprised of 4 distinct muscles:

1| Transverse Abdominus (TA) - your deepest abdominal muscle

2| Diaphragm - your breathing muscle

3| Multifidus - small muscles throughout your back

4| Pelvic Floor - the group of muscles that line the inside of your pelvis

These four muscles create a cylinder, that, when activating correctly, creates a stable centre for our body to work from. This is essential in lowering the risk of injury. If our centre isn't stable, the rest of the muscles in the periphery (arms and legs) have to work much harder than they should, leaving them more open to things like strains and tendonitis.

Test It: Try to do a push up, letting your low back sag and core relaxed, then try again with your low back flat with your core engaged. I don't often make guarantees, but guarantee you the first one is a lot harder on your arms.

This also leads in to the main purpose of the core (prepare to have your mind blown).........RESISTING MOVEMENT!

*Insert mind blown emoji here*

That's right - the main thing our core does functionally is to stabilize us as we prepare for movement, by resisting movement. Think about that push-up again. Our core isn't actively causing our trunk to move anywhere. Its job is to resist gravity pulling down on our lower back. This creates that nice stable platform for our arms and shoulders to work from, making the movement easier and more efficient.

[To clarify - I am NOT saying that it doesn't have a movement role at all - it does. I'm saying that for the majority of the time its role is to resist movement. ]

This is why when I begin working with someone on core stabilization, we start with resisting movement and THEN move into stabilizing during something more dynamic. Build from the foundations up! So here we go! A few of my favourite core stabilization exercises!


1| Plank Walk Out

(This one is an advanced version of the basic front plank - master that before trying this one)

The set up:

- Start standing

The Exercise:

- Reach down and touch your toes

- Walk your hands forwards until you are in the tall plank position

- Make sure that your low back doesn't sag as you walk out

2| Anti-Rotation Deadbug

The set up:

- Lay down on your back with your knees bent

- Tie a band across from you and hold the end in your hands

The Exercise:

- Bring your knees up so they are directly over your hips

- Ensure that your low back is FLAT into the ground (you need to maintain this contact throughout)

- Slowly lower one leg at a time

* Make sure to do it with your body facing the opposite direction as well *

3| Farmer's Carry

The set up:

- Standing upright

The Exercise:

- Grab a weight in one hand

- Walk with the weight, making sure that your shoulder doesn't drop and your trunk doesn't collapse as you go

4| Half Kneeling Narrow Base Lift

The set up:

- Assume the half kneeling position = back knee under the hip, front foot directly under the knee, front foot in line with the back knee.

- Tie a band across from you and hold the end in both hands

The Exercise:

- Bring your extended arms up to your shoulders.

- Bring the band in to your chest, then push it back out again

- There should be enough tension from the band that the exercise is challenging

5| Half Kneeling Narrow Base Press

The set up:

- Assume the half kneeling position = back knee under the hip, front foot directly under the knee, front foot in line with the back knee.

- Tie a band across from you and hold the end in the opposite hand

The Exercise:

- Pull the band up and across your body

- Lower your arm slowly and controlled back into the start position.

This is just a super quick look at the core. If you are serious about improving you knowledge of the region and learning even more exercises so you can help your team/athletes, I would definitely recommend a workshop. Just contact me to arrange one!

If you are struggling with some of the exercises and need to regress to an easier version, let me know! "Perfect Practice, makes perfect". Don't try to force a poor movement pattern - it won't get you anywhere.

#VelocityPT #GetBetterFaster #coretraining

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