What are the core muscles?


Core muscles protect the spine and keep it stabilized. Also they can help control movements such as walking and standing. The core helps transfer energy and helps us move in different directions. It’s important to have a strong set of core muscles.

How to engage your core muscles in 3 easy STEPS



The 3 key elements for correctly engaging your core abdominal muscles are:


  1. Breathing
  2. Posture Correction
  3. Correctly engage your core abdominal muscles


These elements all work together. If your posture is poor, your breathing will be affected and your core abdominal muscles won’t work well. To correctly engage your core follow these key elements before commencing specific core abdominal rehabilitation exercises including pelvic floor, deep abdominal and spinal muscle exercises.



1. Correct your Breathing

The first place to start your training is correct breathing. Breathing exercises improve pain and quality of life with core dysfunction – related conditions such as chronic lower back pain. The core muscles all work best when breathing patterns are corrected.



2. Posture Correction

How to Correct Your Posture

Correct posture involves a ‘neutral spine’ position. This position involves a slight inwards curve of the lower back with the chest and rib cage relaxed.



3. Engage Your Core Abdominal Muscles

Start in the lying position. Breathe into your abdomen and the base of your rib cage.

  • Place your hands and fingers over your lower abdominal wall just inside your pelvic bones
  • Gently draw your lower abdomen inwards towards your spine
  • Keep breathing normally and maintain your good sitting posture throughout
  • Try to keep your deep abdominal muscles engaged for up to 5 breaths at a time before relaxing your abdomen.


*Progress this core exercise by engaging your lower abdominal muscles when standing and walking as your core control improves.

-Core exercises can help you reach your fitness goals-

-Strong core muscles make it easier to do most physical activities-

-Core exercises can help tone your abs and reduce backpain-

-Core exercises improve your balance and stability-

-Core exercises don’t require specialised equipment or a gym membership-

Article by

Chia Pui Ni


Your Physio Kepong

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