Jan 032014

abdominal cylinder







Confused about core strengthening exercises…

There  has been so much ‘Core” research and information about the deep abdominal muscles in the last 15 years, the word has become a ‘ household  name’.
In this diagram, we can see:

  • Breathing diaphragm at the top of the cylinder
  • Abdominal muscles forming the walls of the cylinder
  • Pelvic floor at the bottom of the cylinder
  • Deep back muscles behind, close to the spine

These four parts of the cylinder work together and depend on each other for optimal function. This is the ‘deep’ or ‘inner’ core that physios and fitness professionals talk about. This deep core needs to work at a constant low level to provide a co- ordinated level of lumbo – pelvic stability as you perform your every day tasks.

Then you have the ‘outer’ core muscles

outer core front

outer core  from the back









The outer core muscles are your ‘strength’  -power house. They need to be strong to maximise your ‘whole body’ power and agility. In sports, gym work, and general aerobic fitness  we often focus on specific muscle groups to improve strength ,speed and co- ordination.
We need to understand how these layers of ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ core muscles work together to give us the ‘core strength and the co -ordination that we want !!!

I would like to link you to this great article from Anna-Louise Bouvier, physiotherapist, founder of ‘physiocise’. This is one of her many ‘pearls of wisdom’ “Cutting+Edge+Core+Control+P1
If you want to learn more about core exercises for women make an appointment to see me.
I love to combine my women’s health skills with personally training/ prescribing ‘safe’ exercises for women.
At sports focus physiotherapy, we work on re- education of these inner core muscles with a co- ordinated breathing pattern, together with manual therapy, exercise programs and specific sport training drills for all ages and abilities.

 Posted by at 2:06 am