Let’s talk about a core problem! Yeah, that’s right, many athletes and even more non-athletes have a core problem. In their core, the body center.
The core is anatomically and structurally the center of our body and has an enormous amount of tasks. And with great tasks comes great responsibility! Only with a strong and stable core as a foundation can the limbs develop their full strength potential.
The core consists of the pelvis, abdomen, lower back, chest, and shoulder girdle. (Basically, the core is what you get when you remove your arms and legs.) It makes sense to include the head into the core because it has great influence on the position of the spine which in turn is of great importance for the core. All these parts form a pillar that is the foundation for every movement.
The primary tasks of the core musculature are to position the pelvis, straighten up and stabilize the spine, and to form and protect the abdomen. For most movements it is important to bring the spine in the perfect position and then stabilize it. In other words, to form a solid foundation and build a house on it.
Amongst others it is the gluteal musculature (m. gluteus maximus) that is responsible for this and brings the pelvis to an upright position. In this position the pelvis is then fixated by the abdominal muscles (m. rectus abdominis, m. transversus abdominis, m. obliquus internus). The spine is protracted as if you pulled on a string that is connected to the top of your head. The shoulders are turned back so that the shoulder blades move back and down. The head is in neutral position as an extension of the spine and you look straight forward.
This neutral position of the core should be kept firmly like a pillar. From this basic position pressing, pulling, lifting, rotating, jumping, and running movements are not problematic. The otherwise tender spine is properly protected and the connected limbs can optimally unfold their full strength. Only a strong core allows for an optimal strength transfer to your limbs.
Only if you can maintain the optimal position of your core can you reach your optimal performance and prevent injuries. For example, if your are a soccer player and you want to shoot harder, jump higher, and stand your ground in one-on-one situations you should direct your focus to core training first. As I have said before: you have to create a solid foundation before building a house on it.
P.S.: If you want to know about the core you should definitely check out this article. It abolishes one or two common misconceptions of core training.