However, having a strong core is not the same as having a stable one. A stable core is the foundation we need to do all types of movement such as lifting weights, walking, carrying groceries, getting up from a chair, and playing any sport.
The lumbar spine (low back) is built for stability, while the thoracic spine (upper back), hips and shoulders are built for more mobility and rotation. We need a stable foundation before we develop the coordination to move our limbs.
To stabilize our core, and respect its inherent ability and role, we need to activate it while it is in the most stable position (Neutral). Neutral position is when the lumbar spine is straight and stationary (lumbar neutral and engaged, abs activated). When this is established we can incorporate movements of our upper back (bending, rotating), hips (extending leg, turning leg inward and outward), and shoulders (in every direction).
Once we have the coordination and control to move our limbs while keeping the core stable, then we can build strength (how much we can lift/move) and power (max strength and max speed). Our many body parts and the muscles that move them will have the right sequence of contraction if we move from our stable core. A stable core is always the foundation for any movement.
TEST YOUR CORE STABILITY:
Sit on the edge of a chair with feet flat on the floor and compare getting up:
(a) with no particular effort, then again when
(b) bracing, as if someone is going to punch you in the stomach. (Keep your torso tall!)
WARNING: Dont lift weights, run or throw/swing things unless you have developed and maintain a stable core!