Real Core Training Part One: Beyond Just Abs

Updated: Nov 2

It's time you learn about real core training and how to go beyond just abs. Your core is an essential part of your overall fitness and athleticism. The problem is, there is a lot of misconceptions about what real core training is. What a lot of people call core training is really just abdominal training.

The abs are just part of the core, which is actually made up of 35 muscle groups.

Diagram showing muscles of the core.
Credit: ISSA's Fitness: The Complete Guide 9th Ed.

The major muscles we’ll talk about for now are the Rectus Abdominis, the Obliques, and the Transversus Abdominis.

Old school mentality is that the Rectus Abdominis are for flexion, the Obliques are for rotation, and the Transversus Abdominis are for stability.

While they do play these roles its important to understand that none of your core muscles work in isolation.

Their more functional roles are anti-extension, anti-rotation, and anti-lateral flexion.

Functional roles meaning the roles they play in your everyday life.

Think about your typical day. How often do you need to crunch your stomach tightly to accomplish anything? How often do you have to twist your upper torso with force?

A parent carrying a baby or toddler on their hip? Anti-lateral flexion.

Pull starting a lawn mower? Anti-rotation.

Carrying a heavy box? Anti-extension.

Thinking about core training in these terms helps you avoid increased injury risk and/or aggravating old issues from endless sit-ups and crunches.

Real core training is safer and more functional. You'll get more out of it and see the results translate into your real life.

In the video I will demonstrate the c-sit position. I like the c-sit because it’s scalable, meaning you can regress it and progress it. From there I will show you three anti-rotational exercises that engage your whole core and then some.

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