Did you know your core muscles make it possible for you to stand upright and walk? They’re not just there to look good. Your core muscles help keep your spine and pelvis stable by running the entire length of your torso. They help control movement throughout your body and make it possible to shift your body weight around. Your core muscles keep your back protected against the stresses of your body weight.
So…What are the Core Muscles?
The core muscles are comprised of different muscles and groups of muscles that span the length of your torso. These include the following:
- Rectus Abdominis: This muscle is found along the front of your stomach and is the most well-known abdominal muscle–it’s the one commonly called a six-pack
- Erector Spinae: This is a group of three muscles that are found running from your neck to your lower back
- Multifidus: These muscles work to extend and rotate your spine; they’re found along your vertebral column, underneath the erector spinae
- External Obliques: These muscles are found in front of, and on the side of your abdomen
- Internal Obliques: These are found under the external obliques, but they run in the opposite direction
- Transverse Abdominis (TVA): This muscle is found under the obliques and wraps around your spine; it’s the deepest of your abdominal muscles
- Hip Flexors: These muscles are located in the front of your pelvis and upper thigh area; they’re made up of five other muscles (the psoas major, illiacus, rectus femoris, pectineus, sartorius)
- Gluteus Medius and Minimus: These muscles are found on the side of your hip
- Gluteus Maximus, Hamstring Group & Piriformis: All of these muscles are located on the back of your thighs and hips
- Hip Adductors: These are found at the medial thigh
This week’s workout involves all of your core muscles–in just 15 minutes! Strength coach John Romaneillo is the mind behind this workout, and he’s developed it to work all of the muscles, not just a group or two. A strong, beautiful core comes from being able to work every core muscle and get it into shape, and John’s workout does this with functional moves that are done off the floor.
So, without further ado, here’s your workout:
How Does My Body Benefit from a Stronger Core?
There are a number of ways your body benefits from stronger, healthier core muscles.
- A strong, balanced core can help reduce back pain, reduce strain on your spinal column, and can even help improve your overall posture
- Because core muscles are a key player in your ability to move well, a stronger core stabilizes your spine from your pelvis all the way to your shoulders, resulting in power transfers to your extremities; a more stable core can improve athletic performance
- Many people suffer from posture imbalances, which can lead to back and other injuries; strong, healthy core muscles helps correct these imbalances and allows for regular activity
Cool Down & Recovery
A great way to cool down after this workout is to swim. You don’t have to swim a hundred laps as hard as you can (though, you’re welcome to, if that’s your thing). Just take a quick dip. Swim a lap or two and relax a bit. Swim more if you’d like. Vary your swim intensity if you’d like, too!
There are many ways you can recover from your workout. Below are a few of my favorite ways:
- ZMA Sports Recovery from NOW Foods
- Vega Sport Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar from Vega
- FitSMART Muscle Restore from Renew Life
Do you work your core muscle in a different way? We’d love to hear your core workout stories. Leave us a comment below!
Featured Image Credit: CoachClub on Flickr