Components of the Core
The main superficial muscles of the core are the rectus abdominis and internal/external oblique muscles. The role of these muscles is primarily mobility-based functioning.
The main deep muscles of the core are the transversus abdominis and multifidus, diaphragm and pelvic floor muscles. The role of these muscles is primarily stability-based functioning.
This is not where the process ends however as there are subsystems surrounding the core musculature that is essential in producing purposeful movement (Hoffman & Gabel, 2013). At this point we have talked primarily about the active subsystem of movement (muscles) but we have yet to discuss the passive (joints/soft tissue) and neural subsystems. Mobility and stability play differing roles so this can be separated into 5 specific subsystems.
Stability subsystems include the stability active (lumbo-pelvic stability muscles), stability passive (sacroiliac joint surface alignment) and stability neural (activation sequencing) subsystems.
Mobility subsystems include the mobility active (hip long mobility muscles) and mobility neural (adaptive dysfunction) subsystems.
Benefits of The Complete Core (CC)
1. Safety: Bumper pads (all), safety bar/foot plate (upper abs), head rest/handle bars (lower abs/hip flexor), lower handle bars (lower back), foot rest (upper back) all aid in ensuring that a majority of participants are able to use the machine safely with proper instruction and safety guidelines provided.
2. Control: Exercises on a stability ball can be a bit challenging at times but the CC allows to set up properly and perform exercise with minimal movement of the ball in the process.
3. “Beginner-Friendly”: Unlike some Swiss ball exercises, the CC allows the participant to move their way up from the easiest of variations to the more difficult ones. Additionally the ball can be placed more distally to simplify the exercise. For example, the Upper Abs/Crunch Exercise placed under the scapula/shoulder region can even be easier than a traditional crunch exercise (Sternlicht et al., 2007).
4. Neuromuscular Adaptations: The balance of mobility and stability in these exercises ensure that participants get the most out of their exercises.