Core Health: The Myths and Truths

What is a strong core?

.. a toned six pack? Your core is actually an extensive team composed of several players: the lumbar spine, abdominal muscles, back extensors, deep hip drivers and lats (swimmer’s muscle). Also involved are muscles that pass through the core linking it to the pelvis, legs, shoulders. Most importantly are the gluts, the main power generators of the pelvis.

These players work together and should be trained together (not like training your biceps or triceps individually). For example, should we practice crunches to strengthen our core?

Myth: sit ups or crunches (repeated spine flexion) strengthen abdominals

Truth: these muscles are rarely used this way, they are more often used to brace while stopping motion, thus they act as stabilizers (not flexors).

Truth: Repeated bending of the spinal discs is an injury mechanism. Spine discs only have so many numbers of bends before disc herniation. Keep the bends for essential tasks like tying shoes rather than using them up in sit ups/crunches.

Why train hip drivers and gluts?

Good technique in most daily living activities requires power generated from the hips that is streamlined through an engaged core. Pushing, pulling, lifting, carrying, and twisting can all be enhanced when power starts from the hips.

Suffering from hip pain or weakness?

Training the core’s hip drivers can actually assist with hip movements when hip function is weak!

Back pain or instability?

Without knowing it, you tend to use your back more while walking, sitting, and lifting. You are using your back and forgetting to engage your hips and gluts. Core training that focuses on gluts is associated with spine stability, will enhance back function, and also prevent and spare knee problems.

Poor posture?

Your back muscles are chronically contracted to the point of chronic muscle pain, this can be counteracted with postural exercises and daily awareness.


Whether you are on a journey to recover, reduce pain, or enhance your quality of life, everyone can get a bit of insight into core health. Book in a complimentary one-on-one session with our Kinesiology team to start or progress your core routine. Feel stronger with Hartwell Therapy and Wellness.




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