Abdominal And Core Training

Abdominal and Core Training have been around since the development of structured exercise programs. Ab exercises are nothing new they’ve been around forever. But the term Core Training has become very popular in the last ten years.

Abdominal and Core training is the foundation to your success. Here’s why…

To help explain the importance of Ab and Core Training it’s important to first understand what your Abs and Core are.


Abs are simple, they are your four Abdominal muscles

  1. Transverse abdominal
  2. Internal Obliques
  3. External Obliques
  4. Rectus Abdominis (six pack muscle)

The Core is open to a bit more interpretation.

The most common interpretation of the Core is to divide it into an inner and outer unit. The inner unit being the muscles that stabilize the spine and pelvis (this includes the transverse abdominis). It’s accurate to define this as a “unit” because this group of muscles has an single nerve input. Therefore the muscles that make up the inner unit all contract simultaneously to stabilize the spine and pelvis.

The outer unit is the Abdominal muscles that move the spine (listed above).

In General, this definition of the Core is the most widely used and accepted in the fitness industry. And I can almost agree with it. Except the “outer unit” really isn’t a unit the way the inner unit is. The “outer unit” has multiple nerve inputs and we can consciously decide how to move our spine. The different movements that we’re capable of, engage a different combination of muscles (so it’s not really a unit).

Other definitions of the core also include the muscles that stabilize and move both the shoulder complex and hips. The muscles that stabilize and move the spine, pelvis, hip and shoulders make up the majority of our muscles and a huge majority of movement we are capable of.

If you look at the general definition of Core; “The central, innermost, or most essential part of anything“. Then including the hips and shoulders makes absolutely no sense.
So here is my definition.


The Core is made up of the muscles that stabilize the spine and pelvis. This fits the definition of core, they are the innermost muscles. It is also essential to focus on developing Core strength when beginning a workout routine, as well as maintaining core function throughout your training program and life.

When functioning properly the muscles of the core contract a fraction of a second before your intended movement begins. This contraction is subconscious and serves one purpose. Your Core contracts to stabilize and support your spine and pelvis before movement to protect your spine from injury.

If your Core doesn’t contract prior to movement or if you don’t have adequate strength in your Core muscle, then you are increasing your risk of injury with every movement
When developing your Core and Abs program it’s important to begin with Core exercises. You should first develop adequate core strength then progress to adding abdominal strengthening exercises.

For examples of some Core and Abdominal exercises please visit my “Photo Gallery” page.

Speak Your Mind


Copyright 2013 - Fintess Know How Headquarters