What Are Core Muscles? Everything You Need to Know

What Are Core Muscles? Everything You Need to Know

Whether you like strength training or partake in rigorous exercise regimes, you must know the importance of a well-engaged core region. There are over 600 muscles in the human body, and they play a vital role in our routine activities.

A strengthened core means a healthy body, better stability, and improved posture. Different individuals do Pilates, squats, planks, and Kegels to strengthen their core.  [1]

If you are an athlete or a work-from-home individual, you should take proper care of your muscles to keep them functioning. So, let's study what the core muscles are. And where are they located? Keep reading to find out.

Here's what you'll learn in this article:

  • What is a Core Muscle?
  • Classification of Core Muscles
  • Core Muscle Groups
    • Rectus Abdominis
    • Transverse Abdominis
    • Obliques
    • Erector Spinae
    • Multifidus
    • Diaphragm
    • Pelvic Floor
  • Best Core Strengthening Tool- SUPMOGO RecoveryFlex System

What is a Core Muscle?

A "core muscle" is technically a muscle found in the core of a human body. The "core" is the central part of the human body that contains the pelvis, lower back, hips, and abdominal region. Therefore, a muscle will be called a "core muscle" if it's located in any of the regions or attached to the pelvis or the spine. 

According to research, core muscles are essential for back health and posture.  [2]. If you interested to know - How to Build Core Strength from Nothing click here and read the article. 

Classification of Core Muscles

The muscles of the core are informally divided into two categories called:

  • Major Muscles
  • Minor muscles

The primary muscles are the ones that perform the significant functions in the core. These include:

  • Transverse abdominis
  • Multifidus
  • Internal and external obliques
  • Erector spinae
  • Diaphragm
  • Pelvic floor muscles
  • Rectus abdominis

A study found that postural changes affect the deep abdominal muscles, and merely sitting on a gym ball is not enough to enhance their strength.[3]

Whereas minor muscles are:

  • Lats
  • Trap Them This particular region. Muscles in your pelvic floor, back, and sides are also included in the category. The research found that exercise helps improve core muscles' overall functioning and stability. [4]

Let's find out what your core muscle groups are and how they work!

1. Rectus Abdominis 

The Rectus Abdominis contains the main front muscles of the trunk that extend from the rib cage down to the pubic bone.

It is also called "abs muscle" as it comprises the "6-pack abs" that can be seen in people with low body fat. It is a part of the anterior abdominal muscles in your body and is located vertically. 

Regarding physiology, the rectus abdominis controls the tilt and stabilizes the pubic bone. Additionally, it aids in keeping your trunk straight and stable during exercises like planks and stretches.

As this core muscle is located in the abdomen, it also actively partakes in various activities like deep breathing, labor, defecating, etc.

2. Transverse Abdominis

The transverse abdominis is the innermost muscle in the abdomen. It attaches from the back of the rectus abdominis all the way across the body to the lower spine under the rib cage. Besides, it is present on the lateral sides of the abdominal wall. 

As the transverse abdominis stretches around the body, its primary function is to protect your body's internal organs and keep them in place.

Also, it helps keep the abdominal wall stretched to support your posture. So, this muscle group is mainly dedicated to support and protection. 

3. Obliques 

Obliques are groups of muscles present on each side of your core. There are two types of obliques:

  • External oblique
  • Internal oblique

The external one is the largest of the lateral muscles and lies beneath the thoracic and abdominal skin. The internal oblique is present on the lateral sides of the abdomen. It is thin in shape. Both of these muscles, along with the rectus abdominis, form the lateral abdominal wall.

The obliques are responsible for your trunk, core, and spine movement. These core muscle groups also help you bend, twist, rotate, and contract the abdomen. The external and internal oblique muscles work together to perform the core movements and twists. 

4. Erector Spinae 

The Erector Spinae is also called a "deep muscle of the back" since it is a large muscle near the thoracolumbar fascia.

This group of muscles is located around your spine. The erector spinae starts from the neck and goes to the lower back. It contains three muscles that run vertically from the top of the spine to the lumbar region.

The muscles that make up ES are:

  • Iliocostalis
  • Longissimus
  • Spinalis

The primary function of this large and superficial muscle group is to strengthen the back as it lies along the vertebrae. Additionally, it also helps in side rotation and other movements of the body.

Whenever you do lifts or squats, the erector spinae muscles are engaged as they help strengthen the core.

5. Multifidus

A multifidus is a group of small, short, and triangular muscles around the spinal cord.

These muscles belong to the transversospinal group and are the thickest muscles in the category. Multifidus starts from the cervical spine and extends all the way to the lumbar region. that helps extend the vertebrae when it contracts. Additionally, the muscles also work to stabilize the spine and support it.

One of their other functions is to cover the back's lumbar region.

6. Diaphragm

The diaphragm is another core muscle group present just below the rib cage. It is a dome-shaped muscle that is present in the trunk. It helps to separate the thoracic and abdominal cavities. You can feel the diaphragm contract and expand as you breathe in and out. 

When you inhale, the diaphragm contracts and flattens. This is because it gives the thoracic cavity extra space during the process. Then, as you exhale, the diaphragm expands and takes the dome shape. 

As it is located just below the lungs and your heart, the primary function of the diaphragm is to aid in breathing and regulate the intake and outflow of oxygen.

Respiration is the main focus of the trachea, which constantly contracts and relaxes to stabilize the airflow in the body. This function is performed involuntarily and rhythmically. 

7. Pelvic Floor

The pelvic floor, as the name implies, is a group of core muscles located at the base of the pelvis. The elevator is the primary muscle of the pelvic floor. It contains muscle components called:

  • Pubococcygeus
  • Puborectalis
  • Iliococcygeus

All the pelvic floor muscles are included in the core muscle group due to their location and functions. These muscles are also used during the labor and delivery processes. 

The muscles in this region work mainly to support all the other muscles in the abdomen, as they are in the "floor" region.

They also help in excretion and urination. When we contract or relax the bladder, we use the pelvic muscles. You can feel the pelvic floor muscles while doing kegel exercises or when you go to the toilet. 

Also Read: 10 Benefits of Core Strength | Why a Strong Core is Essential!

Best Core Strengthening Tool-SUPMOGO RecoveryFlex System

Tired of doing core strengthening exercises but still not getting results? Then get your hands on a SUPMOGO RecoveryFlex System.

It contracts and relaxes your abdominal muscles to improve their functionality. This belt focuses on weakened muscles and engages them to provide maximum benefits.

Its advanced targeting technology provides you with the following benefits:

  • Increased blood flow
  • Decrease body fat
  • Increased muscle tone
  • Strengthen your core muscles
  • Helps to relieve muscle tension after exercise

Say goodbye to unwanted abdominal fat, get a stronger core, and kickstart your fitness journey with SUPMOGO.


Now that you know what muscles are in the core, you can start planning your core-strengthening exercises. Pelvic floor exercises can help women who are about to give birth or who are postpartum strengthen those muscles.

Wear your SUPMOGO Fitness Belt before performing core strengthening exercises to get the most out of them.

[1] Akuthota, V., & Nadler, S. F. (2004). Core strengthening. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation, 1985, 1986–1992.

[2] Knotts, P. (2012). Deep and meaningful: The importance of core muscles. Professional Beauty, (Nov/Dec 2012), 202-203.

[3] Ainscough-Potts, A. M., Morrissey, M. C., & Critchley, D. (2006). The response of the transverse abdominis and internal oblique muscles to different postures. Manual therapy, 11(1), 54-60.

[4] Hsu, S. L., Oda, H., Shirahata, S., Watanabe, M., & Sasaki, M. (2018). Effects of core strength training on core stability. Journal of physical therapy science, 30(8), 1014-1018. 

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