Working Your Core vs. Abs

By CNN News Wire

Published 03/07 2014 07:25AM

Updated 03/07 2014 08:06AM

Ever wonder where a lot of these movie stars and fitness gurus get such great abs?   What are they doing to build up  a fabulous six pack? 
Experts say they are probably working on their core muscles.  What's the difference between the core and the abs? 

Keeping fit means moving, but if you are looking to strengthen your body and define your muscles, that's a whole different routine.

Fitness experts say work the core muscles.  A  lot of times people think when you say core, you mean abs and that's not the case.  Abs are actually just one section of the core muscle group.

"When we think about the core, the core is the foundation of our house," explains Gerald Burley, owner of Coach G Fitness in Washington, DC. "And it's a group of muscles all working together. And it provides us with stability and helps us with every motion we do. But when we think about Abs, we are really thinking about a few muscles that only work in one direction."

Core strength includes the muscles of your trunk-- both stomach and back-- and their ability to support your spine and keep your body stable.  And it's important to work all  these muscles because when the core muscles are weak there's an imbalance.  That imbalance can lead to back pain, muscles spasms, and other injuries.  So work more than your abs.

"If you only isolate one muscle, you are hurting yourself because you are not going to be very stable, you are not going to have strength and you'll be lacking flexibility," Burley says.

(Susan Hendricks for CNN's Health Minute)

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