Your Core

We talk alot about the Core muscles but what exactly are they?

The abdominal muslces attach themselves to the pelvis, ribs and indirectly to the lumbar spine. They offer support, while the muscles of the back are layered, with each separate layer working to balance the spine.

The deep abdominals, otherwise known as postural muscles, are commonly referred to as the core. Essentially, the 4 major core muscles (described below) connect your upper body to your lower body.

1.   The Transversus Abdominis (T.A.)

The T.A. is the body’s natural corset. It connects at the left of the spine, wraps around the abdomen and attaches to the hips and ribs until it reaches the right side. The superficial muscles that give the six-pack are layered on top of these support muscles. The T.A. also supports spinal stability, essential for maintaining good posture.

2.   The Pelvic Floor

You would have located and used your pelvic floor muscles when you have needed to use the bathroom and couldn’t find one. These muscles will also spontaneously tense when you cough or sneeze. Unfortunately, they are often ignored until there is a problem. The Pelvic Floor forms a structure (like a hammock) that supports and holds in your abdominal organs. In addition, they help to stabilise the hips, help with balance as well as working to reduce the risk of stress incontinence.

3.   The Diaphragm

The Diaphragm is a sheet of muscle that works closely with the muscles of the ribs to contract and expand the ribcage during respiration. We usually control our diaphragm through breathing; rate, rhythm and depth. To connect with this muscle the focus is generally on the breath, the inhalation and exhalation. Strengthening the diaphragm will help your breathing to be more controlled – deeper, slower and more even.

4. The Multifidus

This muscle runs the entire length of the spine. Unique in structure, it provides support as well as ensuring we remain upright, providing the scaffolding needed for the vertebral column.

In contrast to other muscles, the Multifidus strengthens when it is stretching. Most other muscles of the body will lose strength when lengthened.