Breaking news: you don’t need washboard abs to have a strong and functional core. (cue gasp)
And the reverse is also true, having chiselled abs on the exterior does not mean your core muscles are functioning optimally. In fact, some of the “core” exercises you might be doing in the gym (AKA your home in 2020 language) may be doing you more harm than good. So, if you want to shift your focus from getting the perfect six-packs to achieving better function in the core, stop your ab crunches and keep reading!
When we talk about “the core” we are collectively referring to a group of muscles in the trunk region that work together to increase the intra-abdominal pressure, which helps to protect and support the spine. And since the spine is the foundation of our anatomy and movement, a properly functioning core is key for everything we do with our body. Your abdominals and obliques are a part of this group.
One important function of the abdominals and obliques is to slow down and balance out the action of our back extensors. For example, when we step forward during gait, the natural joint movement that occurs in the spine is extension (backward bend). It keeps us upright. But without the action of the abdominals and obliques, there would be no opposing force that prevents overextension, which can potentially hurt our spine. These exercises are designed to activate your core with this function in mind.
Try them out and let us know how they went!