Do you have back pain? Poor balance? Have you ever been told to “strengthen your core” but not known where to start? Multiple muscles make up your core, and there are endless ways to address their strength. Today’s post discusses the muscles that comprise your core with some suggestions for ways to strengthen them to keep you better than your best!
We often automatically think of the abdominal muscles when we hear “core.” While the rectus abdominis (“6-pack muscle”) is included, think of your core as a three-dimensional structure with a front, side, top, and base. The rectus abdominis and transverse abdominis muscles form the front portion with the transverse abdominis wrapping around the sides with your internal and external obliques to form a natural back brace for your spine.
Your core also includes smaller stabilizing muscles called multifidi and larger postural muscles called erector spinae. These muscles run between the different levels of your spine in the back. These muscles are often overlooked and not functioning to properly stabilize the spine. In addition, the top of your core is formed by the diaphragm, your primary muscle for breathing, and the base includes pelvic floor muscles.
When addressing core strength, it’s important to remember the different muscles that are included. Check out our video or make an appointment with one of our therapists for some ideas for introductory exercises to strengthen your core!