Everywhere you look; magazines, billboards, people talking, the words core and abs are the hot topics.
Core: 29 small muscles which hold the Spine (Thoracic & Lumbar) and Hip together making it possible to "Move".
Abs: Abdomens are the superficial muscles (On Top/The Ones You See), which provide more of the strength movements.
Knowing the difference between both are very important when designing a functional exercise program.
Functional Exercise Program (Core & Abs):
- Fore Arm Bridges/ Planks
- Typical Crunch (Squeezing Ab Muscles)
- Medicine Ball Overhead Slams
- Medicine Ball Side Throws
- Medicine Ball Wood Chops
- Pull Up Bar/ Hanging Knee Tucks or Straight Leg Raises
- Russian Twists
These provide the use of the Core and Abs.
Functional Purpose of Core vs Abs:
Core is like the core of the earth, in the center of our body and keeps everything together without falling apart. With this said, the core for humans is located in the center (Spine & Hips) and keeps those bones together. Besides keeping the bones together, the muscles must be activated in order to produce movement either; sitting on a chair, standing, jumping and any physical activity performed. An example of a common issue which is 98% due to lack of Core Strength is Low Back problems. Because our lifestyle is becoming primarily sedentary (driving more, convenience without leaving the house), the postural muscles are not activated enough and become weak. Naturally our spine has a "S" shape which provides relief of compression when walking or jumping. As we sit more and more, the natural "S" shape becomes more of a "C" shape which starts to agitate our pain receptors because of the constant compression on the Vertebrates. How to keep the "S" shape, challenge the Core to make up for the lack of movement in our lifestyle. If you are an athlete or hit the gym a lot, you must keep in mind of the core (hidden muscles which are forgotten) because the more weight and movement performed, the core provides the alignment of the Spine & Hips. Always incorporate some types of Core Exercises during your workouts so you do not run into any injuries which lead into $ problems (Doctor/Therapy Visits).
Abs are short for Abdomens, the muscles which are classified under "Beach Muscles". Everyone loves them and works hard to get them. We all have these beautiful looking abs, some can't see them due to the layer of Adipose Tissue (Fat). Strict Nutritional Intake and Exercise are the only way to get these Abs. Aside from getting abs is the big picture of why we should incorporate abdominal exercises to our daily routine. Abs are needed to provide movement in all three planes (Frontal, Sagittal and Transverse) Side to Side, Front to Back and Twisting. Just like the core if you keep working out more and more, you will develop stronger and more powerful movements which depend on the strength of the abdomens to keep up.
United They Stand Tall and Strong:
Core keeps our posture correct and provides smooth movements throughout our spine and hips, while abdomens provide stronger and faster movements. Combining both types of muscles will lead you into a better lifestyle inside and outside the gym. From relief of any pain you have and bypass through any plateau you stumble upon. Research has demonstrated that both Core and Abdomens must work together to provide a smooth and efficiently tuned movement which will set you up for any type of success.