The core. It’s the latest ‘it’ word in fitness, isn’t it. Everyone’s talking about how they need to work on their core.
The ‘core’ is not a new development, however. We’ve always had our core. It’s always been engaged as a part of Pilates; in Yoga we talk about your pelvic flow and ‘activating your core’. Essentially, working the core means to strengthen your internal abdominal muscles, for example, the muscles around your pelvis. Any movement you do, your core is involved. Even when you’re walking or running, it’s not just your legs doing all the work. The core is the foundation of your body’s strength. Even something as basic as posture is affected by your core. If your stomach is not strong enough, you will collapse. It’s as simple as that. This is the reason why many people have weak posture.
The core is not just about being able to hold a plank for a long time. According to me, the core is an internal abdominal muscle that stabilizes a lot of other muscles, effectively stabilizing your body as well, which is why people should concentrate on smaller muscles. I really enjoy the fact that people are getting really conscious about health today. It bothers me when they are only interested in losing weight! Also, we need to understand how important posture actually is - I believe engaging the core is an important aspect of any kind of physical rehabilitation. People suffering from back pain, neck pain etc. benefit tremendously from strengthening their core. If only people would look more at postural and core exercises rather than just going crazy trying to build their biceps and chest and back or exercising to lose weight and reduce their tummy!
On the other end of the spectrum, I think there needs to be a lot more clarity in exercise prescription from trainers and professionals, otherwise it leads to confusion, like different hair stylists telling you what conditioner you should use for your hair. People need to first be educated about basic techniques to focus on, before they can go to an advanced level.
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