Unfortunately, when most people here “core” the first (and often times only) thought that comes to mind are the ab muscles that make up the famous “six pack”. Even worse, when people design core training in their training program they only include exercises that are geared towards creating this “six pack”. While the six pack looks nice, if it’s the strong, stable, and functional core that your after, then you need to open up your playbook when it comes to core training.


Generally speaking, the core consists of all the muscles that extend from the knees up to the shoulders. Working independently, the core consists of three sections: inner, and two outer chains. Most people fail to realize that one of the two outer core chains extend all the way from the hamstrings to lat muscles located in your upper back. Therefore, when we perform exercises such as the squat and deadlift we are inadvertently training and strengthening our core.

Core exercises can be categorized as either an isolative core strength such as planks or a dynamic core strength which include squats and deadlifts. The importance of your core is more than simply developing that sexy “six pack”. Rather your core is responsible for connecting your upper and lower torso, allowing you to execute day-to-day tasks as well as sport specific movements. Without a properly developed core, athletes will see a drop off in athletic performance as well as become more prone to injury, and experience back pain. A core that is functional will allow for it to act as it was intended to: stabilize the torso, protect the spine and transfer forces.


In closing, I hope I was able to open your eyes to the importance of a properly developed core and help you realize your core is more than just your sexy “six pack”.

Stay tuned as I will go over some core exercises that we use here at elite to effectively develop a strong, stable, and functional core. These are exercises that you can do at home daily to help bring your core up to snuff.