Your core is the centerpiece of your body; Your core is a connection point for all limbs of the body. Also, your core is the area where all motion and energy are transmitted to other parts of the body. Core stability is thought of as the trunks ability to move on the pelvis in such a way that it can optimize force production, transmission and control into a “terminal segment” (or either your arms or legs or both). With improved core stability, comes improved movement (in both range of motion and quality of motion) in your extremities. This principle is know as “proximal stability for distal mobility” (check these links for supporting research 1 & 2).
The core consists of a square of muscles encompassing the trunk; these muscles include the diaphragm on top, and the pelvic girdle on bottom, with the abdominal muscles (transverse abdominus, and rectus abdominus) on the front, and paraspinals and glute muscle on the back. Together, these “core” muscles are responsible for assisting in almost everyone movement of the extremities.
Below are two major reasons why core stability is so important to develop and maintain:
Core stability: Injury Prevention
There is plenty of research on the association between injuries and core musculature. While the research varies, the general consensus is that core stability is directly correlated with risk of low back, knee, and shoulder injury. Therefore, this means that with less core stability, comes a higher risk of injury. Think of the core as a foundation to a home. When the foundation of a home is weak, you will see a breakdown in the house’s structure. You may see it in the foundation itself, or somewhere in the ground, or walls, or roof. If the core is unstable, eventually you will have a breakdown somewhere along your chain– your arms, legs, or spine (check this link for supporting evidence)
Core stability: Force Generation
Having core stability is being shown in research to be essential for proper biomechanical force distribution. With improved core stability comes maximal force generation and minimal joint loads in all types of activities. This can be especially important in athletics. This applies to pitcher in baseball, and to a runner and their ability to sprint. It applies to all kinds of athletes. Research has shown that core muscles generate a rotational force about the spine. This leads to muscle activation from opposite arm to opposite leg. By doing so, this allows the muscles to have a long lever arm to wind up around, and to stabilize upon during any limb movement. This is why your ability to generate force improves with improve core stability (check this link for supporting evidence)