Updated: Oct 15, 2020
It's a phrase that's often used but what is it and how is it attained? In Pilates we talk about the deep core muscles and I view them as our foundation. We often ask people to stabilise the "centre" when performing movements, as this stabilises the spine while we add load. We often use this approach when people have been experiencing non specific back pain over a period of time.
The deep core muscles include; Transverse abdominis, diaphragm, multifidus, pelvic floor and internal obliques. These muscles will fatigue but your won't feel a burn as you would with the rectus abdominis (which is the core muscle that people often think about). What we therefore look for is fluidity of movement, which indicates a good connection to those muscles. It's also worth noting that the deep core muscles need to have endurance, not just strength as we need to able to sit for hours per day for example and this requires endurance. Often if the deep core muscles are not working as efficiently as they could be, other muscles which primarily have a moving job, overwork and get very tight or restricted.
I hope this gives some insight into the muscles required for deep core strength, how it feels to activate them and why endurance is probably the goal we are looking at for these muscles.