The Joint Ventures' Blog

Which Are My Core Muscles?

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Your core is a complex of muscles, extending far beyond you abs or the so called “six pack”. Many of these muscles are hidden beneath the exterior musculature people typically train. Major muscles included are the pelvic floor muscles, transverses abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae and diaphragm. Minor core muscles include the latissimus dorsi, gluteus maximus and trapezius.


 


What is the function of your core muscles?
These muscles act to stabilize your spine providing a firm support for all the activities we do. They transfer force through your body and prevent us from having undesired back, hip, knee and even neck pain. 
 
What is muscle imbalance?
Your core muscles have to work together in symmetry in order to avoid abnormal movement. Muscle imbalance means that there is not a good balance in between muscles that are too tight or loose versus muscles that are weak or strong.  Let me give you an example:  in the pelvic area is very common to see hip flexors and lumbar paraspinals being very tight and gluteal/core muscles being very weak. This combination could result in an anterior pelvic tilt which can cause lower back pain as well as knee and hip problems.  
Usually Physical Therapists perform functional movement assessments to identify these imbalances and correct them with stability and strengthening exercises, myofascial release, active release, stretching exercises, soft tissue and joint mobilizations. 
Let’s start working your core!

 Pelvic Tilt with External Rotation


Lie on back with both knees bent and feet on the mat. Place band around both knees. Tighten stomach muscles and tilt your pelvis in order to flatten back against the table. Bring both knees out to the side about 45 deg and hold for 3 seconds. Slowly return to starting position.

Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions

Bridge

While lying on your back, tighten your lower abdominals, squeeze your buttocks and then raise your buttocks off the floor/bed as creating a "Bridge" with your body. Hold for 3 seconds. Slowly return to starting position.

Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions

Pelvic Tilt with Toe Taps    

Lie on back and lift both feet into the air, keeping a 90 degree bend at both the hips and the knees. Tighten stomach muscles to flatten back against the table. Slowly lower one foot to the mat, keeping the knee bent. Lift the leg back to the starting position. Alternate between left and rights legs. Do not allow your back to arch.

Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions

Side Plank

Start lying on one side, holding yourself up on your elbow. Place one foot on top of the other, and lift torso up, keeping shoulders, hips, and ankles in a line.

Start by holding 20 seconds and repeat 3 times on each side

If you have any questions feel free to stop by our Kendall Square office or contact me at Patricia.Chapa@JointVenturesPT.com


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