The Core Muscles: Anatomy, Your Tests and What are Exercises at Home

The Core Muscles: Anatomy, Your Tests and What are Exercises at Home

A well-rounded, athletic body is necessary not only to comply with the momentary canons of beauty – it is, first of all, an indicator of the physical health of the body, its capabilities and strength. The muscular frame, the center of which is the cortex, participates in every human movement, maintains the position of the internal organs and ensures their performance. By developing this complex, you can protect yourself from stress-related injuries, make your posture even, movements coordinated, and your body strong and fit.

What do the muscles of the cortex mean in human anatomy, what are the features of their structure and physiology? Basic information will help you to correctly assess the degree of development of the body, build an optimal training program and reach a new level of physical fitness.

Core muscles: what are they and where are they? Anatomical reference

Cor (from the English “center”) is represented by a group of muscles located mainly in the middle section, in the region of the spinal column and hip joints. Fibers occurring at different depths are conventionally divided into three layers:

  1. The external muscles include the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, gluteal, adductor, rectus and external oblique muscles of the abdomen.
  2. The second layer is represented by the infraspinatus muscle fibers, the internal oblique muscles of the abdomen and the erectors of the spine.
  3. The third layer, which lies deep under the first two, consists of the iliopsoas and multifidus muscles, the diaphragm, the square muscles of the lower back, the pelvic floor, and the transverse abdominal muscles.
Core muscles: photo and anatomical reference

Such a varied anatomy explains the complex technique of training core muscles: contrary to popular belief, they cannot be pumped by doing hundreds of twists and lifts of the torso. Of course, this will make the abdominal muscles stronger, and perhaps the abdomen will acquire a beautiful relief, but this effect will have nothing to do with strengthening the muscle frame.

What are the core muscles responsible for?

Unlike most muscle fibers, the core is not an independent source of movement – this group is largely responsible for the correct distribution of power impulses. Based on this, its key functions are determined:

  • The core acts as a body stabilizer in space, especially during heavy loads. Well-developed muscles of this complex protect the spinal column from injuries and hernias, maintain balance and flexibility.
  • Stabilization of the core muscles is the basis of the correct shape of the chest, beautiful posture and a toned silhouette, a distinct relief of the abdomen and buttocks.
  • The deep core muscles help to position the internal organs in the anatomically correct position, prevent their displacement, and therefore ensure the full functionality of all body systems.
  • Strengthening the core muscles for women is of particular importance. The pumped fibers support the internal organs of the reproductive system, which is very important during childbearing, delivery and subsequent recovery.
  • The developed core allows you to freely perform exercises that require “explosive” strength: jumps, leaps, strikes, etc.
  • Weak core muscles are unable to support complex movements. They limit the trajectory of movement and functionality of the body, which is especially important in gymnastics and yoga, which require flexibility and coordination.
core muscles

The core is involved to one degree or another in almost every movement, helps stabilize the back, pelvis, hips and other parts of the body, distribute the load between the muscles and prevent injuries of the musculoskeletal system. Therefore, even if you do not play sports professionally and do not carry weights, you should regularly perform at least basic core exercises at home. This will help train a poorly developed muscle frame, as well as make the body stronger and healthier.

How to assess core muscle development? Home test for beginners

If you have been actively involved in sports for a long time and monitor the state of the body, this does not mean that your core is in optimal condition. A special test for strength of the core muscles, including a functional assessment of movements, will help to measure the degree of its development. The system of seven different exercises, developed by the American experts G. Cook and L. Burton, will allow you to assess your basic athletic level and subsequently correctly compose a set of exercises for the development of core muscles that will be within your power.

Stability test

To determine if you are ready to train hard, do a light test that demonstrates the condition of your core. To do this, it is enough to perform a push-up, keeping the body perfectly level. The chest and abdomen should be lifted off the floor at the same time, without bending the lower back. A light tube or stick, which should be placed on your back along the spine, will help to control the correct position.

stability, core muscles

If the exercise seems easy, congratulations – your muscle frame is in great shape. The difficulties that have arisen, on the contrary, will demonstrate the weakness of the core muscles and the need for meticulous work on oneself.

Determination of static strength

Four more core exercises involve different types of planks. The straight bar on the forearms and hands should be held for at least 90 seconds, the side bar – one minute on each side. In this case, the position of the body should be perfectly flat.

If the test did not cause any difficulties, you can safely work with large masses and train at full strength – your body is 100% ready for stress. And if the specified interval is not maintained, you will first have to develop basic skills by doing simple exercises to strengthen the muscles of the core.

Dynamic crust strength

Two exercises on the horizontal bar will help to determine the dynamic strength of the muscle frame: raising the knees to the level of the chest and / or legs to the crossbar (5 repetitions each). In this case, the hands should be located shoulder-width apart, and the movements should be completely controlled, amplitude and smooth.

The same exercises are part of a complex for working out the muscles of the core, so if they cause difficulties, you can repeat them daily, increasing the number of approaches – this will strengthen the body, make it more obedient and flexible.

deadlift, core muscles


To assess the strength and stability of your back and back of your core, you should perform the classic deadlift in the correct position. The optimal weight for exercise can be determined from the table below.


Weight Physical level preparation Minimum Physical level training Medium Physical level training Advanced
56 47.5 one hundred 145
60 fifty 110 155
67 57.5 122.5 172.5
75 62.5 135 185
82 67.5 142.5 200
90 70 152.5 207.5
one hundred 75 160 217.5
110 77.5 165 222.5
125 80 170 227.5
145 82.5 172.5 230
145+ 85 177.5 232.5


Weight Physical level preparation Minimum Physical level training Medium Physical level training Advanced
48 27.5 60 85
52 thirty 62.5 90
56 32.5 67.5 95
60 35 72.5 one hundred
67 37.5 80 110
75 40 85 117.5
82 42.5 92.5 125
90 45 97.5 130
90+ fifty 105 137.5

Your own trainer: the best core exercises

You don’t need complicated techniques or expensive equipment to get your body in shape. Full strengthening of the core muscles is easy to carry out at home, working exclusively with your own weight. But before you start pumping, you should carefully study the key principles of self-training – they will prevent possible mistakes and make training more effective:

  • The complex of exercises for the core muscles should be gradually complicated – a beginner cannot physically cope with the same loads as an advanced practitioner.
  • Each complex should be performed in several approaches with a short interval for recovery. At the end of the exercise, the muscles should “burn” a little – this means that the number of repetitions and the degree of load are optimal.
  • It is important to monitor not only the number of approaches, but also the quality of their implementation – slipshod movements will not lead to the desired result.
  • Even if you really want to get a flat stomach with the cherished “cubes”, you should not focus only on pumping the press. In the course of training, various muscle groups should be involved – so training will be many times more effective.
  • To avoid addiction, it is necessary to change the set of exercises to strengthen the muscles of the core at least once a month and a half. This approach will allow you to use absolutely all groups of fibers, which means, significantly increase the physical strength, agility and endurance of the body.
  • Do not neglect the warm-up and hitch: the first will allow you to warm up the muscle fibers, and the second will provide a smooth decrease in the load.
  • Alternate between different sets without overloading each muscle group. Allowing time for recovery will help you achieve better results.
core muscles

As you know how to strengthen your core muscles through exercise, don’t forget the importance of lifestyle changes. To train more efficiently, you will have to rethink your diet, adding protein instead of “fast” carbohydrates. In addition, you should constantly monitor your posture, maintain the correct position of the body and shoulders – this will allow you to quickly achieve noticeable results.

How to work your core muscles? Basic exercises in various styles

The core includes dozens of different muscle fibers, so it is impossible to pump it using any one specific technique – you have to constantly combine exercises, change approaches and supplement training with new skills. To achieve tangible results in an extremely short time, try to choose a combination of basic pumping methods:

  • Side and straight elbow and arm planks will strengthen your torso and increase static strength. Gradually increase the time interval and the number of approaches, and you yourself will not notice how the position will not cause difficulties.
  • Twisting, lifting the torso and legs is a universal way of pumping the press, which has a positive effect on the condition of the core.
  • Lateral bends will make the waist thinner by pumping the oblique abdominal muscles.
  • The glute bridge and its various variations will strengthen the back muscles, hips and pelvis.
  • Push-ups with a straight back are a great option for increasing the stability of the body in space.
  • Rope climbing will tighten your upper body.

Another great way to help pump your core muscles is yoga. Correctly performed asanas will improve the condition of the torso, make the body more flexible and enduring. Positions that include balance on the arms or one leg, inverted asanas and the fluid dynamics inherent in yoga have a positive effect on the strength and strength of muscle fibers of various groups. In the course of training, even deeply located muscles are involved, which are rarely involved in classical sports exercises.


Working with a fitball, kettlebell and gliding, pumping on the horizontal bar and uneven bars, maintaining static yoga poses and dynamic repetition of exercises – all this will make your workouts varied and effective. Knowing how to train your core muscles, you can quickly adapt to new physical exercises, make your lifestyle more active, and make your body sturdy, pumped and beautiful.