Core (anatomy)

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In common parlance, the core of the body is broadly considered to be the torso. Functional movements are highly dependent on this part of the body, and lack of core muscular development can result in a predisposition to injury. [1] The major muscles of the core reside in the area of the belly and the mid and lower back (not the shoulders), and peripherally include[ clarification needed ] the hips, the shoulders and the neck.

Contents

Muscles

Major muscles included are the pelvic floor muscles, transversus abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae (sacrospinalis) especially the longissimus thoracis, and the diaphragm. The lumbar muscles, quadratus Lumborum (deep portion), deep rotators, as well as cervical muscles, rectus capitus anterior and lateralis, longus coli may also be considered members of the core group. [2]

Minor core muscles include the latissimus dorsi, gluteus maximus, and trapezius.

Functions of the core

The core is used to stabilize the thorax and the pelvis during dynamic movement and it also provides internal pressure to expel substances (vomit, feces, carbon-laden air, etc.).

Continence is the ability to withhold bowel movements, and urinary stress incontinence (the lack of bladder control due to pelvic floor dysfunction) can result from weak core musculature.

Core muscles, specifically the transversus abdominis, are used during labor and delivery.

Core muscles are also involved in the Valsalva maneuver, where the thorax tightens while the breath is held to assist, often involuntarily, in activities such as lifting, pushing, excretion and birthing.

Anatomical posture and support

The core is traditionally assumed to originate most full-body functional movement, including most sports. In addition, the core determines to a large part a person's posture. In all, the human anatomy is built to take force upon the bones and direct autonomic force, through various joints, in the desired direction. The core muscles align the spine, ribs, and pelvis of a person to resist a specific force, whether static or dynamic.

Static core function

Static core functionality is the ability of one's core to align the skeleton to resist a force that does not change.

Medicine Ball Plank Medicine Ball Plank.jpg
Medicine Ball Plank
Example of static core function
From Army FM 3-22.9 page 4-16 ArmyProne.jpg
From Army FM 3-22.9 page 4-16

An example of static core function is firing a rifle in the prone position. To maintain accuracy, the shooter must be able to transfer their body weight and the weight of the rifle into the earth. Any attempt of the shooter to create a dynamic motion of the sights (muscle the sights onto the target vs. allowing the posture to aim) will result in a jerky posture where the sights do not sit still on the target. For the shooter to maintain accuracy, the muscles cannot exert force on the rifle, and the skeleton must be aligned to set the rifle (and therefore the sights) onto the target. The core, while resting on the ground and relatively far away from the rifle, is nevertheless aligning the spine and pelvis to which the shoulder and arms and neck are connected. For these peripheral elements to remain static, and not move unnecessarily, the spine, pelvis, and rib cage must be aligned towards this end. Thus the core muscles provide support of the axial skeleton (skull, spine, and tailbone) in an alignment where the upper body can provide a steady, solid base for the rifle to remain motionless.

  • Resistance: Gravity
  • Plane of movement: Coronal (side to side), Sagittal (forward and behind the anatomical position).
The main anatomical planes of the human body, including median (red), parasagittal (yellow), frontal or coronal plane (blue) and transverse or axial plane (green). Human anatomy planes, labeled.svg
The main anatomical planes of the human body, including median (red), parasagittal (yellow), frontal or coronal plane (blue) and transverse or axial plane (green).

Dynamic core function

The nature of dynamic movement must take into account our skeletal structure (as a lever) in addition to the force of external resistance, and consequently incorporates a vastly different complex of muscles and joints versus a static position.

Because of this functional design, during dynamic movement there is more dependence on core musculature than just skeletal rigidity as in a static situation. This is because the purpose of the movement is not to resist a static, unchanging resistance, but to resist a force that changes its plane of motion. By incorporating movement, the bones of the body must absorb the resistance in a fluid manner, and thus tendons, ligaments, muscles, and innervation take on different responsibilities. These responsibilities include postural reactions to changes in speed (quickness of a contraction), motion (reaction time of a contraction), and power (amount of resistance resisted in a period of time).

Example of dynamic core function

An example of this is walking on a slope. The body must resist gravity while moving in a direction, and balancing itself on uneven ground. This forces the body to align the bones in a way that balances the body while at the same time achieving momentum through pushing against the ground in the opposite direction of the desired movement. Initially, it may seem that the legs are the prime movers of this action, but without balance, the legs will only cause the person to fall over. Therefore, the prime mover of walking is achieving core stability, and then the legs move this stable core by using the leg muscles.

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Skeleton Part of the body that forms the supporting structure

A skeleton is a structural frame that supports an animal body. There are several different skeletal types: the exoskeleton, which is the stable outer shell of an organism, the endoskeleton, which forms the support structure inside the body, the hydroskeleton, a flexible skeleton supported by fluid pressure, and the cytoskeleton present in the cytoplasm of all cells, including bacteria, and archaea. The term comes from Greek σκελετός (skeletós) 'dried up'.

Push-up Calisthenics exercise

A push-up is a common calisthenics exercise beginning from the prone position. By raising and lowering the body using the arms, push-ups exercise the pectoral muscles, triceps, and anterior deltoids, with ancillary benefits to the rest of the deltoids, serratus anterior, coracobrachialis and the midsection as a whole. Push-ups are a basic exercise used in civilian athletic training or physical education and commonly in military physical training. They are also a common form of punishment used in the military, school sport, and some martial arts disciplines.

Rectus abdominis muscle

The rectus abdominis muscle, also known as the "abdominal muscle", is a paired muscle running vertically on each side of the anterior wall of the human abdomen, as well as that of some other mammals. There are two parallel muscles, separated by a midline band of connective tissue called the linea alba. It extends from the pubic symphysis, pubic crest and pubic tubercle inferiorly, to the xiphoid process and costal cartilages of ribs V to VII superiorly. The proximal attachments are the pubic crest and the pubic symphysis. It attaches distally at the costal cartilages of ribs 5-7 and the xiphoid process of the sternum.

Exercise ball Type of ball

An exercise ball, also known as a yoga ball, is a ball constructed of soft elastic, typically in 5 diameters of 10-centimeter increments, from 35 centimeters to 85 centimeters, and filled with air. The air pressure is changed by removing a valve stem and either filling with air or letting the ball deflate. It is most often used in physical therapy, athletic training and exercise. It can also be used for weight training.

Bridge (exercise)

The bridge is an exercise. Many variations of this exercise are employed throughout the world, most commonly the balancing of the body on the hands and the feet. It is intended to improve lower back and gluteus strength. Examples of bridging in sportive or self-defense applications are seen in Kung Fu, Judo, Brazilian jiu jitsu, Capoeira, mixed martial arts, and wrestling.

Transverse abdominal muscle

The transverse abdominal muscle (TVA), also known as the transverse abdominis, transversalis muscle and transversus abdominis muscle, is a muscle layer of the anterior and lateral abdominal wall which is deep to the internal oblique muscle. It is thought by most fitness instructors to be a significant component of the core.

Abdomen Part of the body between the chest and pelvis

The abdomen is the part of the body between the thorax (chest) and pelvis, in humans and in other vertebrates. The abdomen is the front part of the abdominal segment of the trunk. The area occupied by the abdomen is called the abdominal cavity. In arthropods it is the posterior tagma of the body; it follows the thorax or cephalothorax.

Weighted clothing

Weighted clothing are garments that have heavy materials incorporated into them, to add weight to various parts of the body, usually as part of resistance training. The effect is achieved through attaching weighted pieces to the body which leave the hands free to grasp objects. Unlike with held weights or machines, weighted clothing can leave users more able to do a variety of movements and manual labour. In some cases certain weighted clothing can be worn under normal clothing, to disguise its use to allow exercise in casual environments.

Abdominal exercises are a type of strength exercise that affect the abdominal muscles. Human abdominal consist of four muscles which are your rectus abdomens, internal oblique, external oblique, and transversus abdominis. When performing abdominal exercises it is important to understand the effects, functions, the types of exercises, and think about how to perform this exercise safely.

A bent-over row is a weight training exercise that targets a variety of back muscles. Which ones are targeted varies on form. The bent over row is often used for both bodybuilding and powerlifting. It is a good exercise for increasing strength and size.

Iliac crest

The crest of the ilium is the superior border of the wing of ilium and the superiolateral margin of the greater pelvis.

Diastasis recti Medical condition

Diastasis recti, or rectus abdominis diastasis, is defined as a gap of about 2.7 cm or greater between the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle. The distance between the right and left rectus abdominis muscles is created by the stretching of the linea alba, a connective collagen sheath created by the aponeurosis insertions of the transverse abdominis, internal oblique, and external oblique. This condition has no associated morbidity or mortality.

Active sitting occurs when seating allows or encourages the seated occupant to be active even whilst seated. Also referred to as dynamic sitting, the concept is that flexibility and movement while sitting can be beneficial to the human body and make some seated tasks easier to perform. One of the earliest forms of active sitting is the common rocking chair which allows forward and backward swaying motion.

Standing Human position in which the body is held upright

Standing, also referred to as orthostasis, is a human position in which the body is held in an upright ("orthostatic") position and supported only by the feet. Although seemingly static, the body rocks slightly back and forth from the ankle in the sagittal plane. The sagittal plane bisects the body into right and left sides. The sway of quiet standing is often likened to the motion of an inverted pendulum.

Roman chair Exercise equipment

The Roman chair is a piece of exercise equipment. The equipment is mainly used for the lower back, but can also target the gluteal muscles, hamstring and abdominals. The definition of the equipment, and what 'Roman chair exercise' specifically means, is not clear.

Core stability refers to a person's ability to stabilize their core. Stability, in this context, should be considered as an ability to control the position and movement of the core. Thus, if a person has greater core stability, they have a greater level of control over the position and movement of this area of their body. The body's core is frequently involved in aiding other movements of the body, such as the limbs, and it is considered that by improving core stability a person's ability to perform these other movements may also be improved i.e. core stability training may help improve someone's running ability. The body's core region is sometimes referred to as the torso or the trunk, although there are some differences in the muscles identified as constituting them. The major muscles involved in core stability include the pelvic floor muscles, transversus abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae (sacrospinalis) especially the longissimus thoracis, and the diaphragm. Notably, breathing, including the action of the diaphragm, can significantly influence the posture and movement of the core; this is especially apparent in regard to extreme ranges of inhalation and exhalation. On this basis, how a person is breathing may influence their ability to control their core.

Leg raise

The leg raise is a strength training exercise which targets the iliopsoas. Because the abdominal muscles are used isometrically to stabilize the body during the motion, leg raises are also often used to strengthen the rectus abdominis muscle and the internal and external oblique muscles.

Pelvis Lower part of the trunk of the human body between the abdomen and the thighs

The pelvis is either the lower part of the trunk of the human body between the abdomen and the thighs or the skeleton embedded in it.

Kick (association football)

A kick is a skill in association football in which a player strikes the ball with their foot. Association football, more commonly referred to as football and also known as soccer, is a sport played world-wide, with up to 265 million people around the world participating on a yearly basis. Kicking is one of the most difficult skills to acquire in football. This skill is also vitally important, as kicking is the way in which passes are made and the primary means by which goals are scored.

Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga School of modern yoga

Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga is a modern style of yoga as exercise created by American yogini Sadie Nardini in 2006. Central to this style is a movement referred to as a 'wave' (softening). The structure of this practice includes a 7-step framework which is applied to each pose within a sequence. Nardini incorporates aspects of Kundalini Yoga, Sivananda Yoga, Anusara Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, and portions of movement sequences from Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. Maintaining an internal focus on joy in the moment is part of the practice philosophy. This style integrates postures with learnings from many disciplines including physics, biology, and geometry, influenced by the works of Leslie Kaminoff. It incorporates traditional yoga philosophy from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. It emphasizes muscles that are deep within the body and includes the use of 'waves' in order to enter and exit poses. Examples include physical moves that activate muscles that are close to the spine—such as psoas and quadratus lumborum in order to build support for the body from within before generating outward expression of that movement. The purpose of deep core focused poses in this practice is to improve and deepen breathing. This perspective differs from other styles in which the purpose of deep core work is to stabilize the back. In this practice, keeping belly soft and core strong improve breathing. "Belly Bonfire" breath is one example of a deep core breath technique that involves focus and target of attention and breath with softer abs. Pelvis is viewed as the body's physical center of gravity in this system.

References

  1. Karageanes, Steven J. (2004). Principles of manual sports medicine. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. 510–511. ISBN   978-0-7817-4189-7 . Retrieved 26 March 2011.
  2. Kisner, Carol; Colby, Lynn Allen (2007). Therapeutic Exercise. F A Davis Company. ISBN   9780803615847.

Further reading