LOCAL AND GLOBAL SYSTEMS OF THE CORE Local muscles have insertions or origins along the lumbar spine and provide stiffness for spinal stability. For example, themuscles of the erector spinae lie just along either side of the spine to provide protection during any potentially dangerous movement or activity. Moreover, the transverse abdominis (TVA) acts like a corset wrapped around themidsection, locking everything into place. In contrast, the global muscles run from the pelvis to the thoracic cage and therefore help transfer energy between the lower and upper body. Thesemuscles, such as the rectus abdominis and obliques, allow for healthymovement. Core function relies on a balance and coordination of the strength and stability of these two systems.
WHY IS THE CORE SO DIFFICULT TO IDENTIFY? If we think about the function of the core, it becomes easier to understand. In English, the word “core” refers to a central part of something, usually lying deepwithin. Just think of the Earth’s core, the core of an argument, or the core of an apple. Therefore, everyone agrees that when referring to the body, the core relates to the spinewhile stationary. It’s whenmovement gets involved that things become tricky. What muscles lie at the center of everymovement? Do we include the nerves, bones, connective tissue, and organs? It’s a tough question to answer, andwe’ll continue towait for the scientific community to come to a consensus.
For the purposes of this book, we’re going to focus on the double-sided cylinder between the diaphragmand pelvic floor, including the glutes, abs, and lower backmusculature.
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