We hear it a lot. “You need to strengthen your ‘core’ ”. What does that mean, really?
Your core consists mainly of three muscle groups: The spinal multifidi, which control the placement and integrity of each vertebra in your back, the pelvic floor muscles, and the transversus abdominus muscle.

If these three groups are weak or otherwise compromised, it can cause serious back pain.

The TA muscle is under the “6-pack” abs (I wish) and attaches from the ribcage to the hips and pelvis. A lot of power and strength originates there (there is a difference between power and strength, and we’ll discuss in another issue). The pelvic floor consists of numerous individual muscles. If these are too weak to support your “innards”, one of two things need to happen: Either you need to strengthen them, or start carrying your intestines around in front of you in a wheel barrow! (You’ve probably seen folks who should be doing the latter.) The multifidi are a bunch of small muscles along the spine that provide correct spinal curvature so that your body can be properly supported.

There you have it in a nutshell. Core strength really is important!