“Hey! What’s up? So I got a question and one of the questions was “What is the core?”, “Can you explain what the core is?” and that’s a great question, because a lot of times people confuse by what they think the core is. So I’m going to break it down so you understand how to activate your core.
Here it is… your core is not your abs. So this is what a lot of people think, this is sometimes a misnomer but really it’s just a matter of semantics like when sometimes I’ll say core and I mean your abs. It’s interchangeable but, if we’re really getting clear on what the core is, the core is actually from here down to here (please see the video) and everything in between. Squats are a core exercise, bench press is core exercise because you are utilising the entire core. Now your abs are a specific set of muscles. There are 4 muscles – there’s the Internal, External Obliques; those are for rotation, and then you have the Rectus Abdominis which is spinal flexion and then you have the most notorious one that a lot of people have a hard time firing is what’s called the Transverse Abdominis. And they’re all working synergistically, they’re all working together, you’re never just firing one individually, but the transverse abdominis a lot of time is weak on a lot of people, that’s when you poke them and they’re just like floppy there and they can’t even connect their mind to their body. So one technique that I always teach people which is very powerful, you can do this right now is just cough. And consciously you automatically will fire your abs when you do that. And so this is very important because when you go to do a row or when you go to do a pushup your abs and your transverse abdominis should be firing, your glutes should be firing, your whole body should be activated. When you do the row and you transfer the energy throughout your body up through the floor into your core, into your abs and then you do the row, you’re now taking pressure off your joints and you are activating the muscles more. So you are getting less injury, more results. So pretty simple.
Here’s an example so just so you understand. If I am weak, and I’m transferring energy through the floor and up my body and this chain is weak and it’s not firing, the energy is going to dissipate into other areas, whereas if you are connected with your mind and your body, you are going to send your energy up through the core, strong connection, energy goes here, you lock your shoulder back and then you pull and do the row and voila! You are now lifting more weights, you are activating your muscles more, you no longer feel joint aches and pains, especially when you squeeze the handle, this is a big issue for a lot of people. They are not squeezing the weights and therefore all the force goes into their joints, it doesn’t fire up their nervous system. So core is from here all the way down to about where your thighs starts and the area in between. Your abs are 4 specific muscles – rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, external and internal obliques and they’re all working at the same time. You still want to activate your core: so when you say core, we mean your glutes, we mean your abs, we mean all the area in between, you’re firing those muscles. When I say your abs I mean specifically transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, obliques. Rectus abdominis is the 6 pack that everybody is looking for, so the band around your belly is the transverse abdominis, think of it like a belt it’s actually like holding you in, and the goal for your abs are to protect your organs so when sometimes we say fire your abs, people suck in that’s the opposite of what we want to do, that’s why coughing is a good tool because coughing actually forces your abs to fire because it protects your organs.
Alright, so I hope you find this video helpful. This is core and abs and what the difference is.”
Ian Hart is a Body-Mind Transformation expert, the creator of EarthFIT Training Systems, co-creator of BACK PAIN RELIEF4LIFE, author of HEALING HACKS, and founder of BEAUFORTPERSONALTRAINING.COM and MYBACKPAINCOACH.COM. Ian and his team help people get into optimal shape in the safest, fastest and most effective way possible, using cutting edge science.