The core muscles: the corset of your body
Those who think of core muscles often immediately think of abdominal muscles. However, the core muscles include all the muscles located in the center of the body. The core consists of no fewer than 29 muscles, which can be divided into the straight, oblique and deep abdominal muscles, the straight and deep back muscles and the large and small glute muscles. They form the corset of your body.
The function of core muscles
The core muscles protect the internal organs and the spine. In addition, they stabilize the body, giving you more control over body movements. This also improves your flexibility and reduces the risk of injuries. The muscles in the core are used in many physical activities, both in daily life and in the gym. In many compound exercises you use the muscles as a stabilizer, but you also use the core muscles when lifting your child or shopping bag, for example.
Strengthen the core muscles
As already mentioned, compound exercises strengthen the core muscles. These are exercises with which you engage multiple muscle (groups). Examples of compound exercises are the squat and deadlift. When you want to train one or more core muscles in isolation, so only those muscles, you can do isolation exercises. Good examples of this are the plank and the crunch . These address the oblique, straight and deep abdominal muscles as the main muscle groups responsible (or agonist) of the movement.
In addition, the lower back muscles are stimulated in the plank , as a counterpart (antagonist) to the abdominal muscles. If you want to fully focus on the muscles located in the lower back, we offer back extensions as a solution. Here the lower back muscles are the agonist.
It is a common thought that with the push-up, 'only' the chest, shoulder and arm muscles are trained, but here too you engage the abdominal and lower back muscles. The abdominal and lower back muscles have a stabilizing role in this case (just as with compound exercises). Stabilizing and / or supporting muscles are also called synergists.
Hip thrust is a good exercise to train the big and small butt muscles in isolation . The glutes are also important for balance. They also stabilize the lower back. The glutes are in this case the agonist, the abdominal and lower back muscles function as a synergist.
It is important with all the above exercises that the muscles are flexed throughout the exercise.
A good core: important for everyone
Whether you are a housewife or a bodybuilder; everyone needs a good core. It's important to stabilize the body, but a well trained core also makes you look slim!