Core exercises are practices designed to strengthen and develop target muscles of the midsection including the abdominal muscles, obliques, and muscles of the back. Typical reasons for exercising the core include: improving physical appearance, various athletic benefits, and preventing lower back pain. Often employed by physical therapists.

 

Benefits
 
Common benefits cited for practicing core exercises include:
  • Balance and stability
  • Prevention of injury
  • Improved sports performance
  • Convenience: requires no specialized equipment, can be done at home
  • Improved posture
  • Improve physical looks: toned midsection, "6-pack" abs
  • Prepare for child birth
  • Reduce lower back pain
  • Recover from injury

 

Anatomy
 
In general practice the "core" refers to the abs, obliques, and muscles of the back. No agreed upon definition, however, for what technically defines the "core" exists with researchers commonly referring to the muscles and connective tissues encircling the spine as belonging to the core. A more specific definition considers the core as consisting of the muscles which act on the thoracolumbar fascia, a large "hoop" of connective tissue which encircles and stabilizes the midsection.
 
Muscles of the core are generally divided into two groups: deep muscles which are further down and primarily responsible for stability, posture, and balance, and superficial muscles which lie closer to the surface and are primarily responsible for gross movements. The deep muscles of the core are primarily comprised of slow twitch fibers, while the superficial muscles are primarily comprised of fast twitch fibers. Slow twitch fibers are shorter and better suited for maintaining posture, stability, and heavy loads. In this way the deep muscles of the core act to stabilize the spine, maintain balance, and support posture. Conversely the superficial muscles of the core are primarily comprised of fast twitch fibers which are longer and better suited for generating large amounts of torque and full body movements. Together the superficial muscles provide the body with its primary mobility while the deep muscles provide consistent stability and control.
 
Training methods
 
Methods for training will vary person to person depending on physical limitations, motivations, fitness level,
 
Common exercises
Crunches, sit-ups Planking
 

Legs

Arms

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