FITNESS HEALTH AND FITNESS

Core Vs. Abs The same Thing? No way!

Written by Della Vorshuk

One of mistakes people often make is thinking that “Abdominal Work” and “Core Stabilization” are one-in-the-same. However, experts will agree that this is most definitely NOT the case and it is important for people to understand the distinction between the two to reduce (and eliminate) the risk of injury.

One of mistakes people often make is thinking that “Abdominal Work” and “Core Stabilization” are one-in-the-same. However, experts agree that this is most definitely NOT the case and it is important that people understand the distinction between the two.

So, what is the difference? Here’s a simple and effective way of distinguishing one from other:

“Abdominal work” is a generic phrase used to describe any type of exercise that works mainly the Rectus Abdominus (the wash-boards) or the Obliques; these common exercises include “Crunches and Crunches with a twist”.

Training one’s “core stabilization muscles” is a very specific and well thought-out sequencing of exercises to strengthen the muscles all around the spine and not just the abdominal muscles at the front of the spine. These muscles are known as the “Inner Unit” muscles of the Anatomical “Belt” or “Corset” and consist of:

1. Diaphragm
2. Pelvic Floor
3. Lumbar Multifidi
4. Transverse Abdominus

Training the core stabilizers is all about protecting the spine from injury during lifting, pushing, pulling or bent-over positions. When these “core” muscles are properly conditioned, and therefore contract correctly and in sequence, the spine experiences a natural, supportive compression that stabilizes it. This “spinal stabilization” then allows all other working muscles such as the arm and leg muscles to “anchor” off of it (the spine) for leverage during a squat, bent-over row, or chest press exercise without putting the spine at risk for injury.

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About the author

Della Vorshuk

Della Vorshuk General Manager of INFOFIT Educators. A school for fitness professionals fosters the development in becoming a BCRPA, ACE, ACSM, and NSCA certified personal trainer. Wife of International Speaker, Andre Noel Potvin, author of the Great Exercise Handbook series (which has sold over 1 million copies worldwide) and a former Exercise Physiology Instructor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. If you’d like more information about this topic, please email her della@infofit.ca