I have a lot of people tell me that they have a weak core and it needs to be strengthened.

The first question I ask is, “What exactly is your core?”

The second question is, “Why does it need to be stronger?”

The answer to the first question is that our core is supposed to offer stability to an inherently poorly stabilized structure, the lumbar spine (the lower five vertebrae).

The answer to the second question is a bit more complicated. The simplest answer is that your core probably doesn’t need to be stronger, it needs to last longer and work more efficiently.

For most people, core endurance is the limiting factor, not strength. It matters how long your core can last for and how efficient your core is.

For instance, your core is meant to stabilize your spine. If a certain level of contraction offers your spine stability, more contraction does not offer much more stability. In fact, too much might also be a limiting factor!

So think about these things next time you are training your core. It probably doesn’t need to be stronger, it just needs to be more efficient!