If you nod and smile when people talk about building core strength, without really knowing what it is, you are not alone. People talk about core strength like they think everybody understands what it is.
In most of the Group Fitness classes on our timetable there is discussion of the core. Phrases such as ‘brace your core’, ‘engage your core’ and ‘lift your pelvic floor’ will be heard over and over again. If you are new to classes and the gym, this might not mean a lot to you and you may not even know what ‘bracing the core’ is.
And chances are, you are too timid to ask. Hopefully this will help!
What is Core Strength & Core Strength Fitness?
The core abdominal muscles consist of 40 muscles, each with different functions. They have different strengths and sizes.
Your core muscles attach to the ribs, spine or pelvis. This means that your core strength is really important for body stability. In particular, stability through the spine and the pelvis.
The core is also responsible for movement through the shoulder blades, the legs and the ribs.
Good core strength fitness will result in greater stability through the back, improved posture and good technique when executing other exercises.
What classes will help me engage my core?
Classes such as Pilates are great places to start when trying to understand what engaging the core means, and for understanding how to activate these muscles. Fit Ball also includes exercises which will help improve your core strength.
Understanding how the core works can be quite confusing. If, after attending a class, you have any questions about terminology (or the exercises used during a class) always ask the instructor to explain.