What is Core?
The answer I normally hear is “it’s abdominal muscles and back muscles”. That’s not totally accurate.
Core is everything from the nose to your toes.
Core is a vital protector of internal organs.
The body needs to load before it can explode. This is one of the most fundamental things, loading before explosion.Our bodies are subject to principles such as gravity, ground force reaction, mass momentum, acceleration, deceleration…
The spine works on selective pressure of nature, which is three-dimensional (tri plane).
Three-dimensional means sagittal plane (front/back), frontal plane (left/right) and transverse plane (left rotational/right rotational). (Insert Image 3 planes of motion)
One of the other universal laws is that the body follows the path of least resistance.
It’s common to see a fracture at the very bottom of the spine in young gymnasts training at high volume (L5 pars fracture) which can lead to instability. These fractures are stress fractures and are commonly asymptomatic. This means that many people don’t know about them unless they have x-rays of the low back.
Most orthopaedic injuries are on the transverse plane (or combination including mostly the transverse plane) and it’s exactly what happened with our young gymnast. This kind of injury doesn’t happen on the sagittal plane.
Which plane is not directly subject to gravity? Transverse plane.
This will reassure most of you, you can bend your spine. Gymnastics is a great sport, especially for children, there’s no doubt about that for me, but this is a good example of an injury in the transverse plane.
Why Does That Matter?
Strength is being efficient in energy transfer. It’s your ability to produce internal tension against external resistance.
If you want a good core you need to learn to use it.
Sit ups aren’t the answer though. Sit ups are not a natural movement pattern. The only time you see a baby doing a sit up is when you’re changing their nappy.
Instead, you see babies rolling onto their sides because the body knows how to be efficient.
If you want more details and more specific knowledge bombs on core applied to sport (especially CrossFit), check out this article from Cyril Gretchi on RedPill Training blog below.
Now you know that core is not just about abdominal muscles. However, there is one muscle that is particularly essential – the diaphragm.
The diaphragm is a key core spine stabiliser.
It is essential for many reasons:
*Movement of the arms and the legs
*Regulate vagus nerve
*Helps with rotation
*Ribcage and pelvic positions.
The truth is that the abdominal muscles aren’t good at stabilising because they are so far away from the spine. And the goal is to stabilise the spine…
The distance from the abdominal muscles and the spine is so far that they don’t act as good stabilisers, although they do look very good (on the beach).
Doing “core exercise” isn’t bad for you; however, we try to be as efficient as possible at the time to find the origin of a problem.
A squat is much more of “Core Exercises” than core exercises…
The diaphragm wraps around the spine.
The ability to contract this muscle controls the spine much better than any other muscles, even the paraspinals (the muscles that sit parallel to the spine).
Trying to release the diaphragm in manual therapy doesn’t seem to be an optimal option.
The diaphragm is super important for the digestive system as well.
For the respiratory system the number one goal is to exhale CO2 (carbon dioxide) which is called the carbonic drive. It’s not to inhale O2 (oxygen).
Where to Find Us
If you think a chiropractor could help you, give us a ring on 01323 722499. If you want to see me personally, remember to ask for Geoffrey Biarge when you call.
Not sure as to whether chiropractic treatment is right for you? We offer a complementary 15-minute telephone consultation with a chiropractor so you can discuss your needs.
We have free off-road parking at our chiropractors, and we’re close to the town centre bus stops with easy access to Eastbourne town centre as well.
By Geoffrey Biarge
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