When you hear core muscle, you probably think about six pack abs, not a beer belly. Having shredded and toned six-packs looks pretty cool and great. However, is that related to strong core muscle? And why is it so important?
Core muscle is not only abdominals but also erector spinae and respiratory muscle.
You use core muscle every day and almost all movements.
You use your core muscles without noticing in most of activities you do such as getting out of the bed, keeping your back straight, walking and holding something. A main role of core muscles is to support the body.
Having six-packs does not mean you have a strong core muscle
I have had some opportunities to work with sumo wrestlers who are huge. Sumo is basically body contact sports which you lose when you touch the ground with your body apart from feet or you get pushed out from the circle. They have to be big enough to bear huge loads and support your body not to fall down. They do not have shredded six-packs. However, their abdominal muscle is really hard like a rock which means they have strong core.
It is importance for athletes to improve core strength
The study *1 shows that the female professional golfers who performed 12 weeks of core strength training improved their driver shot performance, flexibility of core muscle.
The study *2 shows that deep core muscle (Multifidus, quadratus lumborum, psoas major and erector spinae) can cause compensation, which leads to lower back pain.
It is also important for everyone to have good core muscles
The study *3 *4 suggests that core muscle can prevent seniors from falling and help MS (Multiple sclerosis) walk with less fatigue.
Also, weak core muscle will provoke compensation from other muscles that could cause poor body balance and pain.
What you would benefit from core training
- Prevention of injury
- Fall prevention
- Improvement on performance
- Improve respiratory function
- Kwang-jun kim Effects of core muscle strengthening training on flexibility, muscular strength and driver shot performance in female professional golfers 2010 International Journal of Applied Sports Science 22 p111-127
- Margaret E. Raabe and Ajit M.W. Chaudhari biomechanical consequence of running with deep core muscle weakness 2018 journal of Biomechanics 67 p98-105
- Nathaniel B. Ketelhut, BS;1 John H. Kindred, MS;1 Mark M. Manago, MS;2 Jeffrey R. Hebert, PhD;2 Thorsten Rudroff, PhD Core muscle characteristics during walking of patients with multiple sclerosis 2015 JRRD 52 p713-724
- US Granacher, Albert Gollhofer, Tibor hortobagyi, Reto W. Kressig and Thomas Muehlbauer The importance of Trunk Muscle Strength for Balance, Functional performance, and Fall Prevention in Seniors: A Systematic Review 2013 Sports Medicine 43 p627-641
- Toma K tong, Shing Wu, Jinlei Nie, Julien S. Baker and Hua Lin The occurrence of Core Muscle Fatigue during High-Intensity running Exercise and its Limitation to Performance: The role of respiratory Work J Sports Science Medicine 2014 13 (2) p244-251