By: Kim Katerba
I know, I know. Everybody wants a six-pack. It’s universally known in our culture that once you’ve got those sleek, rock hard, sculpted abs, you’ve made it. You are officially strong and undeniably in shape. Next to flexing big biceps, people love to flaunt well defined abs.
But somewhere along the way in our fevered pursuit of the perfected washboard stomach, we started calling our abs our core. This is a big problem because our abs are most certainly not our core. And this perception that they are is contributing to a population in pain. Hear me out.
When is the last time you heard of someone calling out of work because they threw out their abs? Just about never. People call out of work because they throw out their backs. Each year, innumerable hours of productivity are lost due to back injuries – not to mention lost time with friends and family and doing the things we love.
This notion that the abdominal muscles are the core of the body just isn’t true. Think about it. For such an ab/core focused society, one would think all these strong “cores” would create pain-free people. But in actuality, the opposite is true. Modern society is plagued with a staggering amount of pain. That’s because the abdominal muscles do little to contribute to the structural stability of the body nor do they have a big role in facilitating proper movement.
You know what part of your body does dominate these things? Your posterior chain – the entire system of deep postural muscles in the back of your body. I know it looks good, but a six-pack won’t help your body operate with ease and fluidity as much as a strong posterior chain will.
That is why we need to redefine the core.
Foundation Training defines the core of the body as any muscle that attaches to the pelvis. The pelvis and hips are powerful and meant to support and direct your movement. In terms of mobility and structural health, the hips are your true core and central fulcrum of your body. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people use their lower backs as their fulcrum…a quick recipe for pain and degeneration. Even worse, so many fitness programs overlook the importance of these true core muscles and leave them untouched and underdeveloped. But their strength and ability to function well are critical in both immediate and long-term health.
I ask this: What if we became a back focused culture? What if we took all the time we spend on countless crunches and ab exercises and instead focused it on developing our posterior chain? Imagine the incredible drop in pain and the rapid increase in health and vitality we’d see. Foundation Training’s sole purpose is to focus on the true core and develop these ever ignored yet oh so crucial muscles that define our structural integrity. Our exercises are simple. They are fun. They work quickly. And you feel great after doing them.
So go ahead and skip your crunches. Instead do some Foundation. (Practice our 8-Point Plank…that will get your abs shaking in no time!) I promise. . .you’ll feel stronger!