Introduction to the Core


Core training, and the importance of a strong, efficient core, are relatively new concepts for the training of general population groups. However, they have been used in the rehabilitation of injuries (particularly low back pain) for quite some time. Core training is an important aspect of training athletic populations, as well as the general public. Core training is a fundamental component of fitness training, whether the aims of the individual are to lose weight, or improve a specific aspect of performance. Once good movement patterns, postural control and core strength have been established, other aspects of fitness (such as balance, plyometric training, etc.) can be effectively developed.

To effectively implement core training, one must first understand what the “core” is. Defined as the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex (LPHC), the core is not only where the body’s centre of gravity is situated, but also where all gross motor function originates from, as well as where all force generation originates from. As such, an efficient core will lead to better neuromuscular efficiency of all movements. The structures which make up the LPHC are the lumbar spine, pelvis, hip joint, deep and superficial muscles of the trunk. By developing a strong core, one is able to stabilize this region during motion, and produce forces from the most biomechanically efficient position possible. A ‘’neutral’ pelvis (with no anterior or posterior tilt) for example will result in good length-tension, and force-couple relationships, which will result in smooth, powerful, and effective movement of the entire kinematic chain of the body.