What is core?
As many before me have stated, “core strength” means more than just six-pack abs. A better term is “pillar strength” which includes the muscles of your torso, hips, and shoulders — basically, anything that connects with and/or helps stabilize those body parts and integrate movements of the limbs.
Yes, the core includes the six pack (rectus abdominis) but it also encompasses a multitude of other deeper muscles such as the transverse abdominis and the psoas which you never see but are crucial for stabilizing your skeleton and allowing you to move efficiently.
The pillar concept reinforces the notion of muscular support that goes all the way around your body to include the muscles along the sides of your torso (external obliques and lats) as well as your entire back and your butt.
We’re stuck with ‘core’ terminology for now, and I’ll use that term on this website to really mean the entire pillar. Besides, “MorePillar.org” just doesn’t have as good a ring to it 😉
A 2010 WSJ article made a great case for the importance of core strength.
Many sports-medicine specialists expect core-strength exercises to become the third leg of public-health recommendations in regard to workouts. Just as cardiovascular exercise is promoted for heart health and resistance training for strong bones, experts expect core-strengthening movements to gain public-health favor for avoiding muscular-skeletal pain and injury, particularly of the neck, back and hips. “In the sports and fitness worlds, the benefits of core strength exercise are accepted facts,” says Bill Sonnemaker, a personal trainer and spokesman for IDEA Health & Fitness Association, an educational association for fitness professionals.