Core Work – What’s with this Buzzword?!

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What’s with the buzzword ‘Core Work’?

Strengthening your core seems to be at the root of every tummy workout to secure a nice washboard effect on your stomach. Does this really work? … Of course not!

So why don’t tons of tummy exercises give you a washboard stomach?

  1. Abs are made in the kitchen not the gym. If you train your body well in the gym and then don’t fuel it well, you will fail to get that sought-after effect.
  2. The core muscles are much weaker than their bigger brothers and sisters. They are designed to contract at lower levels, and for longer periods of time. Most of the core exercise programs out there are using big movements that create power and this is more suited to the larger torso muscles like the rectus abdominus, quadratus lumborum (lower back), latissimus dorsi and the iliopsoas (hip flexors). Instead of working on perfecting technique using your core powerhouse, you use the larger muscle groups because it is easier for your body to do so. Your body will always take the path of least resistance, but it is our job to show it how to work efficiently.

Through our Pilates classes or a 1-2-1 rehab session with Kirsty we use slow, precise and controlled exercises that target your core powerhouse, you can create a solid foundation to train your outer layer of muscles on. In addition to the training aspect, you create a set of muscles that can support you perfectly as you bend and twist your back!

More about the Core Muscles

Having core muscles that function effectively and are strong enough for the activity you place upon them is very important for movement, stability and protection. The ‘core’ is made up of a powerhouse of muscles with a floor, walls, roof and an internal perimeter. These muscles are:

Floor – Pelvic floor muscles

Walls – Internal Obliques to the side and Multifidus to the rear.

Roof – Diaphragm

Perimeter – Transverse Abdominus

All these muscles make up the Core of our torso and help to support our central skeleton (spine, ribs and pelvis) at the deepest level as they all connect to it directly. These muscles together create a corset type effect when contracted together to maintain stable torso movements which keeps the spine safe. In doing this, it also creates more efficient movements from the global muscles (the powerful muscles in the body like the quads, traps, glutes etc.)


To train your core, you need to change your mindset. Your focus should be very different from other abdominal training as it is more complex due to the principles that you need to have on point every session. Using your breathing is key to help and control every movement at every stage. Strength builds naturally using these processes so that you progress when your body is ready. There is no fast track, but with a core that functions well, you will reap the benefits in more ways than one!


Come and see what it’s all about:

Pilates Classes

1-2-1 Rehab Sessions