Core Muscles?! What’s that?

Everyone talks about having a good core stability, and about having great core muscles but few people really know what that entails.

When we talk about Core strength, we are talking about much more than abdominal muscles or work with abdominal crunches, or strange exercises using a stability ball.

We are talking about a stability unit, about a persons gravity center, about being able to balance our bodies without falling over.

Nowadays lot’s of people do hundreds of different crunch exercises because they think they are exercising their core muscles and getting stronger. Most of the time when this happens people create an imbalance with a strong abdominal wall that can seem strong, but it is actually supported by a weak back and very weak core stabilisers (i.e. the muscles that you can’t see that actually provide the support you to remain upright).

So, what are the muscles involved in our Core?


The major muscles included in core strength are: the pelvic floor muscles, transversus abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae (sacrospinalis) especially the longissimus thoracis, and the diaphragm (used for breathing). Minor core muscles include the latissimus dorsi, gluteus maximus, and trapezius. (Karageanes, Steven J. (2004). Principles of manual sports medicine. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. 510–511. ISBN 978-0-7817-4189-7. Retrieved 26 March 2011.)

These muscles are responsible for keeping our bodies well aligned as well as supporting all the structures that provide us with stability throughout our daily activities.

To work your Core effectively you must start to understanding where your gravity centre lies, where you are distributing your body weight, and most of all you must balance and strengthen all the muscles involved, and not just focus on the aesthetics of the “six pack abs”.


Posture. Everyone wants a good one…

As a personal trainer I am used to hearing clients say “my goal is to correct my posture”, “I don’t have a good posture when I’m working”, “I don’t like to see myself in the mirror because of my poor posture”…

Everyone wants a good posture but very few people actually know what that looks like, and more importantly what that takes to achieve.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, ACSM, a good posture is defined as the ability to keep your “shoulders back, standing tall, chest out, chin up“. (ACSM)

Anther good way to describe correct posture is a “position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting or lying down. Good posture is the correct alignment of body parts supported by the right amount of muscle tension against gravity. Without posture and the muscles that control it, we would simply fall to the ground”. (Dr Rick-T)


Adopting a good posture is a key factor in achieving a better quality of life in your work or in your chosen sport.

Having a good training routine and doing specific exercises on a regular basis can help to prevent bad postures from occurring, and alternatively, with the right help, can help to correct posture imbalance. It takes time, but there is no better time to start than now, so sign up here and be ready to stand up…tall😉.


Do you know what is No Shave November initiative?

Have you ever heard about #noshavenovember initiative?

nsn_full_stackedThe core trainer decided to support this cause and created is own fund raising page.

If you are sensitive to this cause and want to participate helping scientists around the world researching on cancer click on the following link and make your donation:

Core Trainer, Duarte’s No Shave November Page

Let’s help this cause!

Have a look on our daily photos at instagram/ mycoretrainer

Your Core Trainer, Duarte

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Head Quarters

We are proud to announce the head quarters of Core Trainer!

Dear athletes, friends and followers, we are now based in Coimbra City – World Heritage – half way between Lisbon and Oporto airports. Send us a message to to join a personal training program suited to you!

Look forward to hear from you.


The Four Pillars of Human Movement

As a personal trainer designing a program for someone to reach their goal there is one thing to always keep in mind.

No one program works for everyone!

I was reading a forum recently that talked about the four pillars of human movement (Juan Carlos Santana, MEd).

These pillars are:

  1. Locomotion (walking, running, walking lunges)
  2. Level Change (squats, stair climbing, step-ups)
  3. Push and Pull (seated row, bench press)
  4. Rotation (wood chops, twist with medicine ball)

The key in developing a program that suits you and your goals is in discovering your own individual area of weakness.

A student of mine, Sarah Warne, from my Equestrian Core Training site, once said to me that:

The exercises I find [she finds] the most difficult are often the ones that, once I [she] practice and my [her] body adjusts and learns to carry out, are actually the exercises that help me [her] the most in achieving my [her] goals on the horse

If you are a horse rider, for example, your horse will have a side that he is more comfortable in, and often riders will spend more time going on this rein as it is easier. The horse then becomes imbalanced and this imbalance can even lead to injury.

The same is true for us. The exercises we find more comfortable are often the exercises we do more often, and so our body adapts to these exercises, creating imbalances in our posture and way of moving.

My goal as a Core Trainer is to help creating a program for you that will enable you to correct these imbalances over time, nutting out your areas of weakness and giving you the courage to say to your body;

Hey, just because that movement is easy for you, doesn’t mean you don’t have to do the others!


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