In the popular press, in the scientific literature, at conferences everyone is talking about and writing about the core. Have we put the cart before the horse here, everyone is using the term core, but has anyone ever accurately defined the term? If there is a concise and accurate definition I have not seen it or been able to find it. It bothers me to see the term “core” used in peer reviewed sports science and sport medicine journals without any accurate definition of the term, perhaps I am being fussy here, but if we want to be accurate in exercise prescription and movement analysis shouldn’t we be more exact in our terminology? Pretend for a minute that you are from another planet sent to the earth to study training methodology – could you figure out what the core was and how it was defined from what we see as best practice and research?


At 3/23/08, 10:13 PM, Blogger Trihardist said...

Depends on the context, I think. In mainstream terminology, I think that the term "core" has been conflated with washboard abs. In the technical literature, I think it's more obvious, as in the core of the body, i.e. any part of the musculature that doesn't control the limbs and extremities.

But I don't know that I would pick up on that if I were a space alien :-)

At 3/24/08, 11:54 AM, Blogger Swim Coach Tom Sweeney said...

Vern, did you notice, re core, controversy in competitive swimming re the new Speedo swim suit that has a "corset-like" section around the hips.

Our swimming guru, Bill Boomer, centers the core in the area between the sternum and bottom of the hips.

At 3/24/08, 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We tell our athletes that the core is not a technical term or a specific part of the anatomy. We also explain that core training should not be confused with ab training, almost always is done standing, and that most drills in the athletic development model are core drills to some degree.

Phillip Bazzini
Tenafly, NJ

At 3/24/08, 1:37 PM, Blogger The Iron Maven said...

Parts is not always parts. But we like to isolate parts. Sells lots of books, seminars and DVDs. How to package and sell control and coordination?

And three cheers for Bill Boomer!


At 3/24/08, 3:08 PM, Anonymous todd langer said...

imo the easiest definition of the core = lumbo-pelvic-hip complex. it gets trickier when considering the spinal column and whether or not you believe the core includes the cervical structures and cranium. fwiw the aliens would be just as confused with the phrase functional path training, right? anyways, it can be argued there's no inherent issue with any terminology unless it's being used to justify an exercise and/or method of training. Just my 2 cents.

Todd Langer

At 3/25/08, 2:05 AM, Blogger kevin said...

i have been reading your blog the last couple of weeks and it seems you are taking not too subtle jabs at mark verstegen and his core performance books,dvds,ect.As for the popular press,of course they are going to dumb down and over simplify what they are writing about....not just when they are writing about certain exercise systems....i feel like all this is just not really worth getting upset about...vestergen is a little full of himself but his books are easy to understand and do bring useful ,movement based workouts to the masses....sometimes the blog kind of turns into a "i'm better than you are "kind of thing and i don't really understand how that translates into helping people become better athletes...that being said the articles and links are useful and your training techniques are interesting and thorough ..
kevin russell


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