Abs versus Core: What’s the Difference?
Abs “Abdominal Work” and “Core Stabilization”
The world of exercise science is always changing and gaining in complexity, so much of the terminology that’s used by experts can quickly get confusing. After all, even certified BCRPA, ACSM, ACE, NSCA personal trainers have to consistently read up on the most recent medical trends, treatment, and diagnosis, so it’s really no surprise that the terms abs “abdominal work” and “core stabilization” could get mixed up for the average person!
Understand The Distinction Between The Two
You see, there’s a common error that people often make when discussing the exercise world: many mistakenly think that abs “Abdominal Work” and “Core Stabilization” are one and the same thing. Despite the prevalence of this misconception however, personal training experts agree that this is most definitely NOT the case! It’s important for athletes and health-conscious individuals alike to understand the distinction between the two in order to reduce (and hopefully eliminate) the risk of future injury.
So what is the difference, anyway?
Here’s a simple and effective way of distinguishing one exercise type from another:
“Abdominal work” is a generic phrase used to describe any type of exercise that works mainly the Rectus Abdominus (otherwise known as the washboard abs ) or the Obliques. These common exercises include “Crunches” and “Crunches with a twist” (as they are commonly referred to).
Anatomical “Belt” or “Corset”
Training one’s “core stabilization muscles” however, is a very specific and well thought-out sequence of exercises intended to strengthen the muscles all the way around the spine instead of focusing on the abdominal muscles at the front of the spine alone. These muscles are known as the “Inner Unit” muscles of the Anatomical “Belt” or “Corset” and consist of the following:
- Pelvic Floor
- Lumbar Multifidi
- Transverse Abdominus
This is especially important for those of us who live in the Western world, as so many of our jobs are sedentary in nature. In spite of this disadvantage, by utilizing the proper core stabilization exercises, you can better protect yourself from future harm.