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Assisted Sit-Ups – Our Core Muscles

Our core is a complex series of muscles, extending far beyond our abs, they include everything besides your arms and legs and are incorporated in almost every human movement. The core muscles:

  1. can act as an isometric or dynamic stabilizer for movement,
  2. transfer force from one extremity to another,
  3. initiate movement itself.

Our core works in all three planes (sagital, coronal and transverse) during motion and many of these muscles are beneath the exterior musculature people train. The deep muscles include:

  • the transverse abdominals
  • multifidus,
  • diaphragm,
  • pelvic floor

The core muscles act as stabilizers and transfer forces over that of a prime mover; incorrectly in our opinion people focus on training their core as a prime mover and in isolation. According to researchers ((Panjabi, 1992). Hodges 2004, Willson et al., 2005) core stability requires: intra-abdominal pressure, spinal compressive forces, and hip and trunk muscle stiffness.

Andy Waldhem in his dissertation Assessment of Core Stability: Developing Practical Models, there are “five different components of core stability: strength, endurance, flexibility, motor control, and function”.


Panjabi, M. M. (1992). The stabilizing system of the spine: Part 1. Function, dysfunction, adaptation, and enhancement. Journal of Spinal Disorders, 5, 383-389.

Hodges, P. W. (2004). Lumbopelvic stability: a functional model of biomechanics and motor control. In C. Richardson, Hodges, P.W., & Hides, J. (Ed.), Therapeutic Exercise for Lumbopelvic Stabilization: A Motor Control Approach for the Treatment and Prevention of Low Back Pain (2nd ed., pp. 13-28). Edinburgh, UK: Churchill Livingstone

Willson, J. D., Dougherty, C. P., Ireland, M. L., & Davis, I. M. (2005). Core stability and its relationship to lower extremity function and injury. Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 13, 316-325.

Assessment of core stability: developing practical models Andy Waldhelm May, 2011 (

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