The core is the part of the human body located between the pelvic floor and diaphragm, and its main job is to hold and protect your spine. Your abdominal muscles are part of your core, but just one piece of the puzzle. The core muscles squeeze, or hug, the spine, almost like a hand would squeeze a tube of toothpaste, taking pressure off the body. These muscles, and there are many of them in this area of your musculature, work hard together to achieve balance in your spine.
Besides being a primary stabilizer of the body, another reason the core muscles are different from other muscles is because they move across three planes of motion. Rather than being restricted to only moving in certain directions, they work together as a three-dimensional whole to support and stabilize you as you pile them with work every day. They anticipate and react to stress on the body and are able to work together to balance the load.
See why a strong core is so important?
Other abdominal muscles such as the obliques and rectus abdominus are found in the same region, and these are the muscles we tend to train first. True core muscles hidden beneath those superficial muscles such as the pelvic floor, multifidus, transverse abdominals and iliopsoas should be the primary muscles we work to make stronger to protect the spine and surrounding muscle structure – THEN you can work on those abs!