Our Rehab Master Trainer and CORE class instructor David N. breaks it down for us:
Your core is one of the fundamental muscle groups in your body. It has three dimensional depth and functional movement in all three planes of motion. Rather than being a prime mover, your core often acts as a stabiliser or a conduit for which force is transferred.
Core training is most often misconceived as training to get a 6 pack when in fact this is not the case at all. For starters, everyone already has a 6 pack and the only factor dictating whether it is visible is body fat. Secondly, the 6 pack itself is only one group of muscles called the rectus-abdominus where the core itself is a much more complicated structure made up of many muscles. These muscles include the pelvic floor, transverse abdominis, diaphragm, internal and external obliques and erector spinae just to name a few.
With this in mind, the common crunch is a very incomplete method of training your core as it only focuses on the rectus abdominis in isolation which is responsible for flexing your spine. So how do you train your core? The answer lies in in examining its functions. These include:
Flexion (bending forward)
Extension (bending backwards)
Lateral flexion (bending sideways)
Isometric stability (the ability to keep rigid)
Dynamic stability (the ability to keep stable while channelling force from one part of the body to the other)