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Know More About the Core

Knock Knock

who’s there?

Abs

Abs who?

ABSolutely need to learn more about my core!

Core strengthening is one of the most important parts of any exercise program, especially for those with a moderate to very active lifestyle. Our core is the foundation of all other movements. This is because it includes muscles that attach from our upper and lower extremities to our spine or pelvis.

You may associate the word “core” with defined abs, and sit-ups, but those two things don’t sum it up. One very important muscle that gets over looked is called the Transversus Abdominis-TA for short.

This muscle is like the body’s natural corset and it wraps around from the back to the front, attaching to the ribs and pelvis. The TA muscle, along with some others, are used to support your abdomen, while squatting to perform daily activities or gym activities. The TA is integral in your most “human” of functions, such as using the bathroom, vomiting, and giving birth.

If you notice in the picture above, the actual muscle fibers are located on the side of the abdomen, and not the front where the “six pack” is. However, this muscle is more important in performing most low and high level activities. The TA works to compress the abdomen, condensing the space and tightening up the area to be able to move more efficiently. For example– if done incorrectly– bending down to pick up a laundry basket, a child, or a barbell, shifts your center of gravity and places stress on your low back. Tightening your TA, or bracing your core, along with bending your legs, allows the body to centralize some of that tension that would otherwise be pulling on the spine without support from those abdominal muscles.

Before you think about going crazy with crunches and sit-ups, it’s best to start with basics and build up from there. We ALWAYS teach patients with back and hip pain how to activate the TA, and incorporate other movements along with that, to guide you to a more functional and pain free way of life.

Don’t wait for your core to weaken even more. Call LSTC today at, 703-450-4300. Our patient care coordinators will get you scheduled for your evaluation. Start living pain free today!

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