Excited to share another Yoga video I had been working on for the past week. The intention held behind this sequence is improvement of core stability.
What exactly does that mean? Let’s uncover a bit on the core today: its members, function, importance and exercises.
Before that, imagine yourself in a situation that perhaps finds most of us quite familiarly. It could be browsing through magazines, combing advertisements-saturated streets, or scrolling the infinite Instagram feed when suddenly…
The bufflord appears! The muscle definition of this being impresses you - that’s some strong looking core. Does he or she crunch and sit-up infinitely? (.•̵̑⌓•̵̑)
Or maybe your determination has finally welled up enough for you to want to commit a ruthless slaughter to that stubborn tummy of yours. ε(´･●_･｀)з
But does this mean befriending the plank gang? ◔̯◔
The narrative and understanding of “core muscles” today has shifted greatly towards our abdomen, and abdominal muscles have become almost synonymous with the core. But our core is more than just that!
Click around for:
What is the Core?
Simply put, the core muscle group involves all of our midsection/ trunk (ie. Pelvic Floor Muscles, Transverse Abdominis , Multifidus, Internal and External Obliques, Rectus Abdominis, Erector Spinae, Diaphragm, Latissimus Dorsi, Gluteus Maximus and Trapezius) (Chapa, 2016).
Such a long list, isn’t it? (¯―¯٥)
To make lives easier, we can divide core muscles into two quadrants: The upper quadrant which includes the Glenohumeral Joint and the Scapulothoracic Joint, and the lower which includes the hip and trunk (Donatelli et al., 2006).
So we can see, our body’s core is a host of many different members.
Below, we have a more realistic visual of these mysterious muscles.
The core is considered stable when we are able to control the force we produce.
In sum, core stability totals five components: Strength, Flexibility, Endurance, Motor Control and Function.
However, Strength and Stability share a similar relationship with that of Guacamole and Avocado.
Many people rave over the overshadowing Strength and Guac, forgetting both their origins…
To build core stability, all of its five components should be addressed.
Imagine yourself as a majestically tall tree. Wouldn’t you be profoundly stable if you had thick and strong roots, flexible trunk and branches that could endure the toughest of weather? And imagine if you could control them at will…!
The logic can be similarly transferred to our core: Let it be supportive.
Why Do We Need Core Stability?
Core stability holds a deep relation to injury prevention, particularly in our spine and lower extremities. The absence of stability will slowly begin to involve one in issues such as postural dysfunction, lumbopelvic instability and lower back pain.
Please do not let your quality of life get eaten away like this…!
Poses Covered in This Sequence
Now that we understand the core doesn’t only exist within our abdominal perimeters, we can rest assured this will not be a sixty minutes plank.
Rather, let’s review some of the poses chosen to address the different muscle groups. These poses are held for periods, and are repetitive for some. This is to work on stability’s other components: Endurance, Motor control and Function, and Flexibility!
Rectus Abdominis and External Obliques
Rectus Abdominis Specific:
Forearm Plank Pose
Boat and Low Boat
External Obliques Specific:
Side Plank Crunches
Rocking Low Boat
Erector Spinae, Multifidus
Erector Spinae and Multifidus Specific
Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus, Gluteus Maximus
Birds Of Paradise
Hand to Big Toe
A single pose works multiple muscles. Although the other core muscles are also briefly worked in my sequence, there was admittedly more focus on the groups mentioned above.
The next time you find yourself in a core practice, remember strength is not the only factor. Also spare due attention to cultivating your endurance, flexibility, motor control and function.
Final Note: Extrapolating The Core
As I was pondering about this post this morning, a rather peculiar thought dawned on me that core stability is very much like our mental health!
To be mentally stable, we need just as much strength, endurance, flexibility/ openness, control and function.
I hope you enjoyed this post and will find much joy in the sequence as well.
Thank You so much for reading.
Andrejs. (2021). Core Training – 9 Mistakes To Avoid To Get Strong Abs (And More) [web log]. https://theathleteblog.com/core-training-mistakes/).
Chapa, P. (2016, August 2). Which Are My Core Muscles? [web log]. http://www.jointventurespt.com/blog/which-are-my-core-muscles#:~:text=Major%20muscles%20included%20are%20the,dorsi%2C%20gluteus%20maximus%20and%20trapezius.
Donatelli, R. A. (2006). 9: The Anatomy and Pathophysiology of the CORE. In Sports-Specific Rehabilitation (pp. 135–135). essay, Elsevier Health Sciences.