Milo Bryant: Inner, outer core important to fundamental movement

By Milo F. Bryant Special to The Gazette - Published: May 21, 2013 | 12:00 am 0

Two weeks ago, we worked on a few more glute exercises. Remember, when it comes to functional movement, the glutes are king. Strong glutes enable the rest of the muscles to do what they're supposed to do in the proper sequence.

Glutes are king, but it's time to work on the queen.

The core.

Muscles that start at our pelvic floor and go to the top of our thoracic spine comprise the core. These muscles help protect the spinal column, help us stand upright and help transfer energy between the lower body and the upper body and between the right side and the left side.

There are two kinds of core: the inner core and the outer core, or what I like to call the organic core and the pretty boy GQ muscles. We can't see the inner-core muscles of the pelvic floor - multifidus, internal obliques, transverse abdominis and diaphragm. They're tucked away, somewhere under the six pack (rectus abdominis), love handles (external obliques), anterior serratus and pectorals.

Inner core muscles hug the spine, providing support during low loaded movements. The brain recruits the bigger outer core muscles when the loads increase. So the inner core muscles help control the individual pelvic and lumbar spinal segments in a tonic or low, long-term force. The outer core muscles help the entire area - not individual segments - in a phasic or acute manner.

Both areas are important to fundamental movement. But if I had to choose one over the other, I'd go after the inner core muscles because they do more to help me move and do my daily activities with efficiency.

So over the next few columns, I'm going to go beyond working Kegels for our pelvic floor and beyond simply sucking in our stomachs to work the transverse abdominals.

We're going to learn how to use our diaphragm with more efficiency, ergo learning how to breathe better throughout our movements. And we definitely will do more than hyperextensions to work the multifidus muscles.

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Bryant holds several national training certifications, is an author, lectures internationally and is the founder of C.L.A.Y. - the Coalition for Launching Active Youth. His fitness tips appear biweekly in Health and Wellness.

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