Core strength training is as the name suggests, the “core” or foundation of any sports fitness regimen. Requisite to generating explosive power or speed in movement, is establishing proper core strength.

The “Core” Defined

The “core” is most often assumed to consist solely of the abdominal muscles when in fact it consists of many different muscles which run the length of the torso and strengthen the spine and pelvis. These muscles create a base of support from which powerful movements can be generated and transferred out to the limbs.

The Core Muscle Groups

The “core” consists of the following muscle groups:

Erector Spinae – A group of three muscles that runs along the neck and lower back which function to straighten and rotate the back.

Multifidus – Runs along the vertebral column under the erector spinae these muscles help to erect and rotate the spine.

Rectus Abdominis – Commonly referred to as the six pack or eight pack.

External and Internal Obliques – The external obliques are located on the side and front of the abdomen. The internal obliques are located directly below in the opposite direction

Transverse Abdominis – The deepest layer of abdominal muscle which wraps around the torso from front to back and from the ribs to the pelvis, and provides protection for the spine.

Hip Flexors – The group of muscles that unite the legs and buttocks.

Gluteus Medius, Minimus and Maximus – The buttocks and upper hamstring area are composed of these muscles.

Hip Adductors – Located at the medial or inner thigh.

Why is Core Training so Important?

A strong core provides stability and balance to the body which allows for the transfer of powerful movements to the extremities. Whereas power generates from the center outward to the limbs, the greater the stability of the center or core, the more powerful the muscles of the arms and legs can contract. A solid core additionally corrects posture, which can reduce strain on the spine and eliminate the potential of injury due to postural imbalances.

Other benefits include greater body control and efficiency of movement increased power balance, and overall improved athletic performance. For an athlete seeking to develop explosive speed and power, an effective core training regimen is fundamental….

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