How to get optimal strength, stability, and flexibility in your core
What does core strength really mean, and why is it so important?
The most common misconception about core strength is that it means simply having strong abdominals—like the enviable washboard stomach achieved by developing your rectus abdominis muscle.
In truth, optimal core strength means having balanced flexibility, control and power in all of the muscles in the core of your body: your abdomen, lower back and waist. These muscles support your body in upright posture and natural, efficient movement.
Core muscles have the potential to be very strong, and the spine to be extremely flexible. To move safely and efficiently, our core should be providing most of the support and be doing most of the work in the movement of the body. Our extremities should simply be extensions of what’s happening in our core.
If your core is out of balance in some way, you’re at risk for back pain, back spasms, disc problems, scoliosis, lordosis, kyphosis, sciatica, joint pain and injuries, and many other musculoskeletal conditions.