Everyone wants a six pack, right? But does owning a six pack really mean having a strong core? As personal trainers, we often see people working out their “core” by performing a sit-up or crunch. Don’t get us wrong, a sit-up or crunch has its place in the fitness world; however these moves can be overemphasized in workouts. Flexion movements at the waist, such as sit-ups or crunches are often part of an “ab workout”. These movements typically target your superficial muscles that often contribute more to your aesthetics or six pack as opposed to actual core strength. So what exactly is your core?
Your core provides the base for you to hold force, initiate movement and do work. To have a strong core, you must correctly perform core exercises that strengthen the deep internal muscles surrounding your back and abdomen. These muscles are your powerhouse muscles. They allow you to squat, lunge, push, pull, rotate, and lift. To target these muscles your body’s alignment needs to be addressed. This alignment is known as Stable Core Position (SCP). This position is achieved when,
1) Rib cage is pulled down and braced. Imagine bracing your stomach to receive a punch.
2) The pelvis is stacked over your knees and ankles.
3) And the spine is neutral.