The biggest thing in exercise in the last 20 years. The Core.
I cannot tell you how many people are referred to me with the explicit instructions they need to ‘strengthen their core’, the problem they have is the ‘core is not strong enough’.
Research came out of Queensland University about core control around 1997, roughly the same time Body Control Pilates set up their new Mat Training courses.
It was all about ‘switching on the core’. Most physios will probably remember courses about the importance of ‘Transverse abdominus’ and how vital it was to the causation of lower back pain.
The thing is, although it is undisputed that the abs are important, they are not the whole story. You have your spinal muscles that run parallel to the spine, your buttock muscles (glutes or Gluteus), and your deep hip muscles - they all contribute to core strength and therefore core control, or your powerhouse as I tend to cue in class.
You cannot strengthen in isolation. A six pack looks great on the beach, but ignore the rest at your peril because misalignment creates its own problems.
Working out a balanced fitness routine will not only improve your core, but allow you to improve so much more. It can improve the stress on your neck, and shoulders, balance, posture, reduce and even prevent injury.
Never ignore the core, but do focus also on the strengthening the whole body from within. It is a kinetic chain, and your strength and vitality will improve for it.