Hello! Thought I’d write a more in depth article about core stability as this week I made a video about how to activate and train the transverse abdominal muscle. You can find the link to the video later in this post. So let us just dive into the subject of core and core stability. The term core has been used in the popular media and scientific world quite extensively for past 10-15 years. There are different definition for core but here in this post what I’ll mean by core will be the axial skeleton with the shoulder and pelvic girdles included and also all the associated soft tissues. So what is this axial skeleton? It contains the skull, sternum, ribcage, vertebral column, pelvic girdle and shoulder girdle. The vertebral column and sternum are collectively called the trunk.
Panjabi (famous spine researcher) divides the stabilization systems in the body to three different groups. These three groups are the passive, active and neural stabilizing subsystem. The passive subsystem refers to ligaments (structures that bind bones together), intervertebral discs and facet joints (the small joints between the vertebra). Then there is the active subsystem which refers to the abdominal and back muscles. Tension in these muscles increases the stiffness of the spine and enhances stability. The muscles are divided to local and global. Local muscles are small and deep muscles in the back that provide intersegmental stiffness in the vertebral column. Transverse abdominal muscle, the diaphragm and pelvic floor muscles also belong to the local muscles. They are important as they increase the intra-abdominal pressure and this phenomenon may reduce compressive forces in the lumbar spine. Global muscles are mainly the large superficial muscles like external oblique abdominal, straight abdominal muscle and back muscles. Neural subsystem controls the activation of the core musculature. Feed-forward mechanism is an important neural way to help stabilize the trunk. Feed-forward mechanism means that certain muscles are activated before any visible movement happens. Transverse abdominal muscle is an important muscle that activates in the feed-forward mechanism.
Training the core. Core training is important because it enhances the trunk stability. Good core muscles enable the individual to perform different activities efficiently and safely. Core stability training is also used in rehabilitation of different musculoskeletal problems like low back pain. The first part is to learn to to activate the core muscles especially the transverse abdominal muscle and after that all sorts of different core exercises can be applied to the training. The activation of the transverse abdominal muscle can be a bit tricky at start but with a bit of practice and perhaps help of a specialist (naprapath, physiotherapist etc.) the activation is found. Core training is also recommended on an unstable surfaces or with different equipment like swiss ball or wobble boards as these help to activate the muscles even more.
Here’s the link to my video how to activate the transverse abdominal muscle. I’ll end this post here but I will write about core and core training even more in the future as the subject is just so broad I don’t want to purge everything one one post. Hope you got some useful information and please just comment if something comes to your mind or questions rise!
Happy Sunday, remember to relax!
Peace & Love!