What is your "Core"? The answer to this is not actually straightforward. Some think of this as one’s abdominals only – cue the traditional image of crunches being the way to strengthen up. Others would include other areas such as the pelvic floor and the diaphragm - keeping in mind the importance of breathing and being aware of the need to keep our internal organs supported and in their proper place.
Then of course there are the back muscles; you might be aware that these are also part of one’s core stability as they attach to your sacrum. Often when one gets a back pain niggle one is told to “work on your core” to get better. So where does one draw the line between “core” and “outside of core”?
Of course, as far as human bodies go, there is no such line. Us humans have fully integrated beautifully complex and intricate bodies powered by an amazing super-computer which is our brain. But in terms of the tricky subject of the “core”, it is best to consider the immediate muscles directly influencing the lumbo-pelvis complex (lower back and pelvis, in plain English) that act as postural stabiliser muscles as your “core”.
Those muscles are your deep abdominals, diaphragm, pelvic floor, deep spinal stabilisers plus a couple of other muscles attaching to structures around our lower backs. You can see that abdominal exercises alone won’t be enough to get this area strong. And that’s why we do a lot more in Pilates than just crunches!