What Are Core Muscles, and Why Should I Care About Them?

The core muscles of the body are defined as being part of the torso. This part of the body is responsible for controlling virtually all kinds of movement. For this reason, it is vital for us as human beings to maintain optimal fitness and nutrition so that we can have strong, functioning core muscles. How many muscles make up your core? What can you do to keep those muscles in prime condition? There are a number of ways you can educate yourself on your core as well as a number of fitness routines you can participate in to maintain the peak health of your core muscles.

A human's core is made up of a complex series of muscles that are more than just your abdominal muscles. The core muscles are defined as the pelvic floor muscles, the transversus abdominus, the multifidus, the internal and external obliques, the rectus abdominis, the erector spinae, and the diaphragm. Minor notable core muscles of the human body include the gluteus maximus, latissimus dorsi, and trapezius. Working each and every one of these muscles is key to maintaining peak levels of fitness.

Front Core Muscles

Your core controls nearly every move you make with your body. The core muscles can be used in a number of ways, acting in an isometric fashion, or a contraction in which the joint angle and muscle length do not change, or as a dynamic stabilizer when the body is being moved, or even as a force to transfer energy from one extremity to the other. Even further still, the core can be utilized to initiate many kinds of body movement. It is the body's driving muscle group and one that should be given special attention when it comes to fitness and nutrition.

Typically, your core is used as a stabilizer for the rest of your body. It is used to transfer force as opposed to a prime moving source for the body. Many people take part in core-strengthening activities like sit-ups and dead lifts to train their core to be a prime mover for the body. Training in such a way can cause you to miss out on other important functions of your core, including more efficient movement and the longevity of the muscles in your core. For this reason, it is recommended that you do exercises that combine strength training and cardio moves, like kickboxing.

Back Core Muscles

The muscles in the human back are layered, very complex, and responsible for a wide variety of movements. Each layer is responsible for a different function: the superficial layer moves the body's arms; the intermediate layer moves the muscles in the respiratory system; and the deep layer is responsible for moving the back of the body. The prominent muscles in the back are the trapezius, the latissimus dorsi, and the lumbar muscles. These muscles help us to move the bones in our bodies and get around from day to day to complete ordinary tasks. As with the other core muscles, proper nutrition and strength training are vital to maintaining healthy back core muscles.

Side Core Muscles

The most predominant muscles of the sides of the body are the obliques. The internal and external obliques require special attention because they are not worked alone on a daily basis. For this reason, it is important to create workouts that focus solely on this muscle group in order to build and maintain sculpted oblique muscles. First and foremost, our obliques are important because they help us twist from side to side. They help us turn, dance, and even bend down and pick things up. Ideal obliques are only attainable in a well-trained body with low body fat. There are a number of fun workouts you can complete to train your obliques and get them into peak condition. Doing so is important and will ultimately help you to live a healthier lifestyle.

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