Almost every competitive sport relies on a strong core.
Throwing, running, jumping, swimming, bursting, accelerating, swinging, or back-pedaling… core strength affects everything!
- Sprinters work on their core almost daily, it’s a huge part to running.
- Quarterbacks and Pitchers know that most of their throwing power comes from their core muscles.
- Wrestlers, hockey players, skiers, swimmers, and pole vaulters ALL rely on a strong core.
So what exactly is your core? Most people think of core muscles as the stomach area only. But actually, your core would include your entire torso area and then some. Your core basically refers to the muscles in the middle section of your body where the upper body and lower body come together. Check out a related article, Three BIG Reasons Why Core Strength is Important.
They include the front of your stomach–those muscles that run from just below your sternum to your waist. These muscles make it possible for you to perform every day activities, from housework to sports, by helping support your back when you bend over and stand up, and they work with other core muscles to assist with posture.
Your lower and outer-middle part of your back is also part of your core muscle group. Strong back core muscles support your abs and help you with actions like sitting up at your desk, bending to tie your shoe or jumping up to rebound a basketball.
Running down along your sides, from your ribs to your upper hips, are your obliques. These important core muscles help you twist and bend from side to side. They’re necessary for a powerful swing in golf or tennis and are vital for turning your body for a view of what’s behind you.
Your core muscles actually extend through your glutes (butt) and down into your hamstrings (back of upper leg). On the front side of your body, the muscles of your upper body get support and assistance from your hip muscles. These include your hip flexors; abductors, along the outside of your thighs; and adductors, along the inside of your thighs. Without these muscles to assist the rest of your core, you’d find it difficult to sit down and stand up, lift heavy items or extend your legs.
In review, your core muscles refer to the basic six areas:
- Stomach (Abductors)
- Sides (Obliques)
- Lower Back Muscles (Erectors)
- Pelvic & Hip (Hip Flexors)
- Butt (Gluteus Maximus)
- Upper Legs (top of Quadricepts & Hamstrings)
This post is part of the video book titled, “The Athletic Continuum: Athletes are developed not born.”