Core Stability vs. Core Strength
When you hear these words what comes to mind? Do you feel strong and stable in your core? Why do we need both? What forms of training accomplish both?
When you think of training your core do you imagine crunches of every kind and a lot of spinal flexion? I know I used to! I know we all want a defined core, and yes that is a nice bonus of a core training program, but the goal of core training isn’t all about sculpting a six pack. For RF, and the way we train, it’s about building a strong core that stabilizes the spine and adds to our quality of life while preventing injury.
The core is not just the sexy abs that run down our center, but is our entire trunk and its function is to stabilize our torso while the arms and legs move during functional movements such as walking, running, playing with our kids, reaching to a higher shelf, and bending over to pick kids toys up off the floor.
Our Core Includes:
Muscles that stabilize the hips
The system of muscles that make up the torso on the front, the sides, and the back of the body
Muscles that stabilize the shoulders
Our pelvic floor and diaphragm
What IS the difference between strength and stabilizers? And why all the fuss? Strength is the ability to produce force throughout a given movement. Stability refers to the ability to resist unwanted movement.
Core strength produces force throughout a movement like a roll up or swan dive, whereas, core stability is when all the musculature of the core tightens statically to resist unwanted motion, like on the reformer when you are quadruped using an extremity to pull the load of the spring.
Core stability is required to maintain your balance without falling over; it is the ability to keep your alignment and posture stable. Core stability training demands that you resist moving your lumbar spine by engaging all of your inner core, we call it your co-contraction. A good core routine should target not just your abs but all the muscles that attach to the spine and pelvis including your tranversus abdominus, obliques, glutes, lower back muscles, pelvic floor and hip muscles.
3 Core Stability Actions
Stabilize the spine
Build and maintain optimal alignment between the pelvis and the spine
Prevent unwanted and compensatory movements of the pelvis/spine during movements of the extremities
Your ability to use your muscles to keep you in a stable position is key to an active pain free life, core stability helps support the spine and protects against forces exerted on the body during everyday activities. In your workouts or athletic activities this means that core stability is required when lifting heavy weight. For instance, in a squat with weights, the ability to engage your core is required while pushing through your legs to move your body up and down. If you can’t support your core with the load on your back; your trunk could potentially rotate, flex, laterally flex… creating unwanted motion and making the exercise dangerous and potentially setting you up for injury.
Our suggestion to you! TRY PILATES!! The best total body strengthening and stabilizing movement.
We believe core stability is best trained through isometrics. Isometric training recruits muscles and exerts tension while maintaining the tensegrity of the musculature. It is a stable way of placing a demand on a desired muscle or group of muscles. Our favorites include planks, side planks, dead bugs and bird dogs.
No matter what aspect of strength, RF is here to support you and and help you be Graceful & Strong.