The "Core" is the Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip Complex--it is made up of approx. 29 muscles that include: deep abdominals, obliques, deep spinal musculature, hip flexor group and the glutes.
--A misconception: Most people think of the core as only the superficial ab muscles..... the one's you can see in the mirror.
When it comes to fitness you hear a lot of people talk about the “Core”. However when most people and unfortunately a lot of the fitness industry, discuss the core they’re referring to the front of the stomach (rectus abdominus) and occasionally the sides (obliques). Even though the intention of the training they implement is meant to help lose fat so those areas become slimmer and the muscle underneath can be seen, they inadvertently help cause injury due to muscle imbalances and because ‘spot reduction’ doesn’t work, they don’t achieve their desired results. Coach Josh Henkin (creator of the ultimate sandbags we use)says it best:
In most daily activities, the role of the “core” is to maintain proper posture under load or stress. It is often to resist movement rather than producing it. The core is more than abdominal training. The health and fitness industry has taken the buzz of core training and run with it to become synonymous with abdominal training. However, the core also includes the muscles of the back and the pelvis. All these muscles are important in keeping the back healthy and strong. Often though these muscles are neglected. - Josh Henkin
At Granite State Kettlebells we train the core in most of the exercises we do and we do it without specifically targeting those muscles. In all of the traditional kettlebell exercises(swing, clean, snatch, jerk) we’re training the posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, erector spinae) and when we’ve got the kettlebell overhead our core tightens up to help maintain the position. While we may not feel the burn in our abs we’re definitely firing them to maintain proper positions. In all of the rotating skills we do we’re using all of our core muscles to make the weight move side to side and also to stop the weight from moving side to side.
Now that you know how we’re working the core all the time, if you want to see those muscles you’ve got to take your nutrition seriously, because no amount of training can overcome bad nutrition! If you restrict your diet to: meat, seafood, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and water, mind you I didn’t say restrict the amount, just the kind of food, then along with you’re fitness training you’ll be well on your way to seeing the muscles you want to see!