Getting to the Core

What does it mean to get to the core of something? What does it have to do with fitness? If you have ever taken an exercise class, you have most likely worked on your core. But what is the core? What does that word mean?

I began thinking about how the term is used in other areas. For instance, there’s the core of an apple. You have to take core classes at university before you move on to the electives. The core of the argument for core classes is that it gives students a core of understanding upon which to build more specific knowledge.

In short, the definition of core in the Mirriam-Webster dictionary is:

1. a central and often foundational part usually distinct from the enveloping part by a difference in nature
2. a basic, essential, or enduring part

So, getting to the core of the argument, for example, means to get to the the most essential primary point of the argument. What we refer to as the “core” of our bodies is the central, foundational part. It is the most essential part of our bodies for physical movement.

The core is comprised of the abdominal area including the ribs, the sides, and the back. It also includes the hips, pelvis, pelvic floor, and buttocks. There are 29 muscles in the core, and they are used to transfer all movement from the upper body to the lower body (walking). They also stabilize us to prevent falling (balance) and help us stand upright (posture). Because a strong core is so important for movements we make in an upright (standing) position, it only makes sense that standing core exercises are extremely beneficial. It’s not all about lying on a mat and doing a hundred crunches!

By strengthening and working with our core muscles, we keep the body in proper alignment to avoid pain, and we also build strong bones in the spine and hips. Core strength, as you can see, is essential for everyday living, whether it’s picking up a child, putting away groceries or simple standing still. And let’s not forget the added bonus of a slimmer waistline and how good that looks!

That’s why working on core strength should be a core part of your workout!

I teach classes that use many core-strengthening postures and exercises. Contact me if you’d like a have a private introductory class online. I tailor all of my classes to fit the needs and abilities of my students, and would love to work with you to help you strengthen your core and live your daily life without pain.