What is our Core?

I imagine that like many of you, for a long time I wasn’t entirely sure what was meant by “core workouts.” I thought it must be something to do with abdominal and back muscles (true), but which ones? Let this be a spoiler for those of you leveling up. Core muscles are those closest to our center and the spine, in fact the deepest stabilizers of the spine and pelvis. 
There is the Diaphragm, the prime muscle for breathing shaped like two parachutes, one under each lung, and connected to the lower edges of the ribs along with central tendons that attach to the spine. Around the middle, the deepest of our four layers of abdominals are the Transverse Abdominis–several of the Bria teachers refer to as Ceran wrap–that literally wrap from the back body around the sides to our center fronts. Natures core-set (thanks Suzanne!) that connect back-to-front and top-to-bottom. In the back body, the Multifidi are tiny muscles that span like guy ropes at the back of the spine from one vertebra to the 3rd and 5th above. These are the reason we focus on maintaining the natural lumbar curve in most activities at Bria, to help strengthen these spinal stabilizers, especially the lower back. At the base of the body, the Pelvic Floor muscles are a finger length deep and are a hammock of layered muscles that maintain the stability of the pelvis front-to-back, side-to-side, and also control the genital and excretory organs. Whoa!
But wait, there’s more…in my search for understanding, I’ve come to believe we must also include the Iliopsoas (ill-e-o-so-az). Known as a prime flexor that spans from the lumbar spine, following the interior of the hip bones, and connecting to the inside of the thigh bone. Its action as it draws back in the body, brings the thighs towards the body, or the body towards the thighs. Its fibers interconnect with all of the above muscles as well as affecting the space between each lumbar vertebra and alignment of the hip bones. Double whoa! It really deserves its own blog as it raises the discussion of how all the muscles of the core must work synergistically and harmoniously for whole body health, vitality, and efficiency.
For those of you interested in exploring this inner space further, I recommend listening to the following podcast with Liz Koch author of the Psoas book and Core Awareness and Deric Stockton, champion power lifter. http://www.coreawareness.com/blog/gainingcorestrength/
Signing off, navel in and up! Sharon