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Core muscle activation

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Every-day motions are created by the ripple effect of muscles connecting your upper and lower body. These motions originate in what are known as your core muscles.

Core muscles are located deep within your trunk, extending from the base of your head to your pelvis. They include:

  • Traverse abdominis (located on each side of the naval)
  • Internal and external obliques (extending diagonally from ribs to pelvis)
  • Rectus abdominis (known as the six-pack)
  • Multifidus and erector spinae (located along the spine from head to pelvis)

Strong, stable core muscles help effectively and efficiently coordinate movement to your arms, legs and spine. This means less chance for injuries, better balance and coordination, improved performance in sports and better posture.

L​imiting your strengthening and fitness workout to develop rock-hard abs or the infamous six-pack only focuses on a few core muscles while neglecting the rest. A more comprehensive approach to core muscle strengthening is best. Begin by learning how to consciously activate your core muscles.​

To activate you back core muscles:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent.
  • Place your hand underneath your lower back.
  • Contract your back core muscles. You should feel extra pressure on your hand.

To activate your abdominal core muscles:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent.
  • Imagine a grape placed below your naval.
  • Bear down and try to squish the grape.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​After you're comfortable with recognizing how to activate your core muscles, you can start strengthening with increasingly rigorous exercises.  Here are a few to master.

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