What is CORE Strength? | Keeping The CORE Tight

Let’s get this out of the way first: what exactly is the CORE?  We always hear about people improving core strength and are constantly cued to keep our cores tight while performing exercises, but what does that actually mean?  Essentially, the “core” is a general name for the muscles around your abdomen and pelvis.  They keep the body stable while it is in motion, and keep it upright while you are standing or sitting.  The cue to keep your core tight is less a cue to flex a particular muscle than it is to stay upright and not let your spine bend.That is why we emphasize core strength so much.  It not only makes workouts more strenuous by activating more muscles than just the ones that are being directly worked, but it also makes some exercises much safer.  Things like squats and deadlifts can potentially be harmful if the person performing the exercise has a weak core.  If the strength of the core fails because of improper form or too much weight, injury to muscles, bones, or ligaments may occur.Strengthening the core involves more than just doing as many crunches and sit-ups as possible.  A six-pack does not indicate a strong core, nor does a strong core necessarily mean that you will have a six-pack.  Crunches are a component of it, but they are not the end-all be-all of core strengthening.  Exercises like planks, superman’s and oblique crunches also improve core strength.  In fact, exercises that don’t directly improve core strength will help to strengthen it, simply because they activate the core.The Art of Personal Training by Kisar Dhillon107 SE Washington StreetSuite 137Portland, Oregon 97214503-953-0241