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In this week’s Ask April we discussed core. It is one of my favorite things to talk about and work on. I did not always feel that way. I used to hate doing core exercises. I usually did not feel them in my core but would feel sorer in my neck, legs or back. That was until I learned how to engage my core muscles correctly and to start slowly.

When we think of working on our core muscles most of us think about the “6-pack” abs. That is only one part of our core muscles. There are 4 main muscles that make up our abdominals and the “6-pack” looking muscle is only a part of them. I define the core muscles as more than just the abdominal muscles. I like to include the pelvic floor muscles, some back and hip muscles too.

Our core muscles are the muscles that help stabilize the body. They help hold some organs in place and help maintain a stable spine. The core muscles also help us move with greater ease and stability. We are using them in almost every movement we take, walking, balancing, unloading the dishwasher and standing. This is why it is so important to keep them healthy and strong.

When strengthening the core muscles start slowly. If the core muscles are not strong enough, other muscles of the body take over. This is one reason my neck would hurt after doing crunches. Check out the video above to see how I started strengthening my deeper core muscles and how to slowly add more challenging movements.

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