Sports Injuries • Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy • Acupuncture • Visceral Therapy

Core Re-Strengthening

The core of the human body has many definitions. In regards to Physiotherapy, it can be described as having two layers in the abdomen, the deep layer and the superficial layer.

The main muscles in the deep layer of the abdominals that Physiotherapists typically try and address include:

  • Transverse abdominals
    • Run horizontally from the lower abdomen, attaching as low as the pubic bone, and as high as rib 6
    • Provide stability to the lumbar and thoracic spine because it also attaches to the thoracolumbar fascia in the back
  • Multifidus
    • Attach in the spine from one vertebrae to another, on a diagonal angle, and act to stabilize individual segments of the spine
  • Pelvic floor muscles
    • Run from the coccyx to the pubic bone
    • Function to provide continence, sexual function, support pelvic organs, and act as a shock absorption for the pelvis in conjunction with the above muscles with loading tasks to the body

The superficial layer of the abdomen that is commonly addressed in Physiotherapy include the:

  • Internal obliques
    • Run diagonally across the fron and side of the abdomen and assist with breathing and same sided crunches/ sit-ups
  • External obliques
    • Run diagonally in the opposite direction of the internal obliques, across the front and side of the abdomen and assist with breathing and opposite sided crunches/sit-ups
  • Rectus abdominus
    • Runs vertically along the front of the abdomen from the pubic bone to the sternum
    • These muscles are often used the most with sit-up type activities, and form the commonly talked about “six pack”
    • Although these muscles provide an attractive, healthy look to the abdominals when strong, they do not play a major role in stability of the spine….because of this, they are only a small part of the core that needs re-training after an injury

There are many conditions/ injuries that require core re-strengthening, and muscle re-balancing. Low Back and Pelvis Injuries almost always need core re-training, but so do injuries such ankle sprains, and knee ligament injuries. The core helps to stabilize all areas of the body, when functioning properly. This is why it is important to understand the function of the main muscles, and what they can do to help you achieve optimal balance and strength in your body.


Squamish, B.C.:
38308 Vista Crescent
Phone: (+1) 604-898-6450
Fax: 1-888-372-3623

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How Angela Simpson Physiotherapy can help you:

  • Identify which muscles of the core are functioning well, and which ones are not
  • Identify if the muscles need strengthening, or stretching, or re-education as to the timing of their contractions with certain movements
  • Release muscles that are tight and/or dominant with manual therapy, which may be preventing the core from functioning properly
  • Provide an exercise program for re-training the core to function optimally