Core muscles are one of the most active muscle groups in the body. Whether you are walking, making dinner, jogging or playing golf you are engaging your core muscles. Because you use core muscles for so many activities, it is important to keep them strong and flexible. Many people equate the core with their abdominal muscles. But your core is much more than that! According to a sports medicine book “The Role of Core Stability in Athletic Function” the core is described as a muscular box with 29 pairs of muscles!!! And here are some of the biggest muscles:
- Rectus abdominis – located inside the abdominal regional; it creates a look of a “six pack”; these muscles enable you to flex your trunk.
- External obliques – located on each side and extending from the lower half of the ribs around and down to the pelvis; enables you to twist your torso.
- Internal obliques – muscles that enable you to twist your torso and provides spine stability.
- Transversus abdominis – is one of the deepest abdominal muscles; the main function is to stabilize the low back and pelvis before movement of the arms or legs occurs
- Quadratus lumborum – It is the deepest abdominal muscle and commonly referred to as a back muscle; contributes to the stabilization and movement of the spine and the pelvis.
- Erector spine – it’s a bundle of muscles and tendons, and situated along the spine; functions to straighten the back and provides for side-to-side rotation
- Multifidus – is a deep muscle located along the back of the spine; plays an important role in stabilizing the joints within the spin.
- Semispinalis – muscle is located in the back and is very long; semispinalis is responsible for maintaining posture and for movement of the head and the vertebral column
- Latissimus dorsi – is one of the largest muscles in the back; the muscle works at extending and rotating the arm
- Iliopsoas – it belongs to inner hip muscles; allows you to rotate the pelvis, bend at the hips, and stabilize your body when you stand.
- Pelvic floor – is a collection of muscles, wrapping down from the front of the pelvis to the back, that holds the organs and structures of the lower abdomen in place and that thus affects urology and sexual function
- Gluteus maximus – is located in the buttocks and is regarded as one of the strongest muscles in the human body; standing up from a sitting position, climbing stairs, and staying in an erect position are all aided by the Gluteus Maximus.
- Gluteus medius – lying over the smaller Gluteus Minimus and underneath the larger Gluteus Maximus muscle; function is to stabilize the pelvis in a neutral position during single leg stance (walking, running)
- Gluteus minimus – is situated immediately beneath the Gluteus Medius; one of the main function is to help to lift leg up
By doing these body-weight exercises you will improve your core stability, strength, and flexibility. Generally, light to moderate exercise is safe for healthy adults. If you engage in regular activity, odds are good you can undertake the workouts without difficulty. But it’s best to talk to a doctor first if you have pain in your joints or back, have had surgery or have a chronic or unstable health condition.