What is the difference between core training and abdominal training?

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Many times, these terms are used interchangably.  This is because the abdominals are part of your core. However, the abdominals do not represent the entire core.  Core musculature surrounds your waist like a weight belt, and while it has dynamic components, it is mainly used to stabilize the spine and pelvis.

Abdominal training includes the shortening or tightening of the abs in such exercises as crunches, V-ups, reverse crunches and leg raises.  Core training focuses on maintaining even pelvic/spinal posture in such exercises as marching on the ball, supine leg slides, single leg work on the bosu or making sure your pelvis elevates evenly when doing a bridge.  By gently pulling your belly button to your spine or doing such exercises as the kegel, you can engage your core musculature.
Core training has worked hard to replace traditional abdominal training, and for good reason. While to some these terms may seem the same, abdominal training has been mainly associated with the rectus abdominus and external obliques, muscles you see with the sought-after "six-pack abs."

However, core training is more comprehensive. Core training helps the body create more stability by challenging all the muscles of the core, not focusing only on the abs. Essentially, core training strengthens the body from the inside out, exercising the stabilizers (muscles deep, near the spine) as well as the movers (external muscles). Core training incorporates traditional ab training such as crunches and reverse crunches along with nontraditional exercises such as marching and planks.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.