By June Scharff
In recent years the terminology
“working your core” has become
somewhat of a catch phrase.
Especially in Pilates, we talk
about strengthening the core.
Many people may think that to
strengthen the core you should
do a great deal of stomach
crunches. Yes, the abdominal
muscles are big players in the
process of developing an
What does core work do that plain abdominal work doesn’t do?
The core muscle groups provide support and stability to the back, hips, pelvis, and shoulders. A strong healthy core enables us to do everyday activities such as vacuuming, shopping, lifting or tying shoes with little effort, no matter your age. A strong core protects your back from injury, relieves back pain, improves pelvic floor problems such as stress incontinence, and prevents poor posture . . . Don't forget "Rockn' Abs."
It doesn’t take long for a Pilates student to realize that every exercise involves working the core muscles to some extent. Often Pilates students wonder why we do so many variations of each exercise. Well, each exercise targets the muscle groups in a slightly different way so that even the tiniest, most hidden core muscles are used and strengthened.
In short, the core consists of the abdominals, erector spinae group, diaphragm, and pelvic floor muscle groups.
Just for fun, these are the muscles that are considered involved in your “core.”
Psoas Major and Psoas Minor
Internal and External Intercostals
Serratus Posterior Superior
Serratus Posterior Inferior
Erector Spinae Group
Gluteus Maximus/Medius and Minimus
Middle and Lower Trapezius
Pelvic floor muscles: Levator Ani, Coccygeus
Rhomboid Major and Minor