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Katrina Hodgson, NASM CPT, BS Health Science, has helped thousands reach their goals by designing fitness programs with her workout videos and her website ToneItUp.com. As one of Diet.comís featured personal trainers she hopes to share her passion for fitness and continue to make a positive impact for the Diet.com community.

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Fitness Expert Katrina
by Katrina Hodgson, Diet.com Fitness Expert

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Core training, strengthening, balance, stability, toning and flexibility... These are fitness terms that you have heard before. But do you know what they really mean? I mean... what the heck is your CORE anyway?

Everyone talks about core training and how important it is to exercise, but rarely do fitness professionals explain what it is. Like my fellow trainers, I am sometimes guilty of assuming everyone knows what I'm talking about when I ramble off my physiology stuff.

So I am here today to clarify what your core is comprised of -- and the main reasons why a solid core is so important for your total fitness!

The core's major muscle groups include:

Pelvic Floor Muscles

These are the muscles running from the pubic bone in front to the tail bone in back. They provide support for the organs in the pelvis.

Transverse Abdominis

These are the innermost of the flat muscles of the abs.

Internal & External Obliques

These are the muscles that support the spine. A few of their official names: erector spinae muscles, the multifidus and the longissimus thoracis.

Starting to see why "core" is so much easier to say? :o)

Minor Parts: Upper Back Muscles & Glutes (your butt!)

The core muscles are important because they align the spine, ribs, and pelvis from different forces during the day. These forces can be from sports, moving around during everyday life and/or support of the torso during sitting. This is why the core is important for posture and maintaining balance.

The core is also important for breathing, supporting organs, pregnancy and preventing injury.

Now, the next time someone like me gives you a core workout, you'll know what we're talking about!

Katrina Hodgson
Fitness Expert

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