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  • Dr. Norbert Martin, DPT

The Key to Unlocking Movement: Understanding Your Core Muscles

Updated: Mar 24, 2023

Do you ever wonder how your body is able to move and perform daily tasks with such ease?

The answer lies within your core muscles. Your core muscles play a vital role in every movement you make, from picking up a pencil to running a marathon. Yet, many of us are still unaware of what our core muscles are, what they do, and why they are so important.

What are core muscles and why are they so important?

The core muscles, also known as the "powerhouse" of the body, are a group of muscles located in the center of the body and include the abs, back, hips, and pelvis. These muscles work together to provide stability, balance, and support to the entire body. The core muscles are responsible for transferring force from the lower body to the upper body and vice versa, allowing for efficient movement.

Why is it important to have strong core muscles?

Having strong core muscles can have a significant impact on your daily life. A strong core can improve posture, reduce the risk of injury, and enhance athletic performance. Furthermore, it can also improve breathing, digestion, and overall physical functioning.

How can you strengthen your core muscles?

Strengthening your core muscles can be done through various exercises such as planks, crunches, and back extensions. All the while, engage in activities that challenge your balance and stability, such as yoga and Pilates. Incorporating these exercises into your routine can lead to improved posture, reduced back pain, and increased stability in daily activities.

To help you strengthen your core muscles and unlock your full movement potential, try the following workout routine:


  1. Cat-Cow Stretch: Get on all fours and alternate between arching your back and rounding your spine. Repeat for 10 repetitions.

  2. Hip Circles: Lie on your back with your arms stretched out to the sides. Lift your legs up and make circles in the air with your hips. Repeat for 10 repetitions in each direction.

The Workout:

  1. Plank: Get into a push-up position, but instead of lowering your body, hold the position for 30 seconds. Repeat for 3 sets.

  2. Reverse Crunches: Lie on your back with your legs in the air and knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Use your abs to lift your hips off the ground, then lower them back down. Repeat for 10 repetitions, 3 sets.

  3. Russian Twists: Sit on the floor with your legs bent and your feet flat on the ground. Hold a weight or medicine ball and twist from side to side. Repeat for 20 repetitions, 3 sets.

  4. Leg Raises: Lie on your back with your legs straight and hands under your butt for support. Use your abs to raise your legs up and down. Repeat for 10 repetitions, 3 sets.

  5. Side Plank: Lie on your side with your feet stacked and one hand under your shoulder. Hold the position for 30 seconds on each side, repeat for 3 sets.


  1. Child's Pose: Kneel down and stretch your arms forward, keeping your hips on your heels. Hold for 30 seconds.

  2. Seated Spinal Twist: Sit on the floor with your legs crossed. Place one hand on the outside of each knee and twist your torso to look over each shoulder. Repeat for 10 repetitions on each side.

It is recommended to perform this workout 2-3 times per week.
Gradually increasing the difficulty and duration as your core muscles become stronger.
Remember to breathe deeply and maintain good form throughout each exercise to avoid injury and maximize results.

By incorporating this comprehensive workout routine into your fitness regimen, you will be well on your way to unlocking the full potential of your core muscles. Get ready to feel stronger, more balanced, and capable of moving with ease!

What are some common mistakes people make when trying to strengthen their core?

One common mistake is focusing solely on the abdominal muscles and neglecting the other important core muscles such as the hips and lower back. It is imperative to avoid overtraining and relying solely on crunches, as this can lead to imbalanced development and increase the risk of injury. Instead, it is crucial to engage in a well-rounded core workout that includes a variety of exercises targeting all core muscles.

To review, the core muscles play a critical role in movement and physical functioning. By understanding their importance and incorporating core strengthening exercises into your routine, you can improve posture, reduce the risk of injury, and enhance athletic performance. So, what are you waiting for? Start strengthening your core today and unlock your full movement potential.


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