It is a common misconception that your core is synonymous with your abs; in fact, your core is comprised of your abdominal muscles, back muscles, and the muscles around your pelvis. These muscles are the foundation of your body.
The core muscles fall into two categories: stabilizers and movers. Stabilizer muscles attach to the spine and support its movement, while mover muscles connect to the stabilizers and work with them to move your body.
John Hanc of Runner’s World explains that the core muscles consists of:
- Internal and External Obliques – These muscles rotate your torso and work with the transversus abdominis to support your center during movement.
- Rectus Abdominis – This muscle is the fitness aesthetic: The contours of the contracted rectus abdominis form the almighty “six-pack.” While it helps stabilize your core, its main function is to flex or curl the trunk.
- Transversus Abdominis – This deepest of the abdominal muscles wraps laterally around your center, acting like an internal weight belt.
- Psoas Major/Iliacus – Better known as the hip flexors, these muscles lift the thigh toward the abdomen and limit excess motion of the hip joint.
- Erector Spinae – This collection of three muscles straightens the back and, along with the multifidus, a short muscle, supports the spine