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Campus Recreation > Fitness & Wellness > Wellness > Articles

What is the Core?

by Lauren Duffy (B. A. Journalism & Nutrition, '14)

What is the core?  In terms of anatomy, the core is the body without the arms and the legs. The major muscles are in the belly, the mid and lower back, the hips, the shoulders and the neck. (See figure below.)

Why should I work my core? Working the core is crucial to the body as it contributes to your healthy posture. Also, most of your body’s movements depend on the core. A strong core not only helps you properly execute workouts, but it also helps protect your organs. Neglecting the core can result in a great predisposition to injuries and an overall feeling of weakness in the body.

How do I work my core? Exercises that engage the core are incredibly beneficial for your muscles. Crunches and planks are the most notorious for working the core, but other exercises such as running and weight lifting work your core, too. Even classes such as Spinning, Pilates, Yoga and Cardio Kickboxing will tighten your core. Just be sure to focus on engaging your core while you work out for best results. For example, to engage your core, imagine that you are sucking your belly button to your spine. See your coaches for more information about how to properly work your core! 

What else can I do? As with any toning exercise, be sure to stick to a healthy diet to see the best toning results in your core!