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A lesson on the muscles, joint actions, and regions of the spine
1 Credit

Lesson 19: Trunk Muscles Graph, Additional Core Muscles and Core Exercise Challenge

Functional anatomy of the trunk. Joint actions, muscles, exercises, and planes of motion for the core. Detailed analysis of an anterior pelvic tilt and the role of the abs/core and trunk muscles (rectus abdominis, obliques, transverse abdominis), multifidus, erector spinae, QL, psoas, TFL, glutes, in lumbopelvic hip complex (LPHC) motion.

Brent Brookbush

Brent Brookbush


Course Description: Trunk Muscles and Additional Core Muscles

This course is a continuation of the previous course, expanding on an introduction to spine anatomy and the trunk muscles. This course includes all muscles commonly referred to as "core muscles", including an introduction to core stability, core muscle activity, and an analysis of commonly recommended core exercises and muscle activation techniques. The core includes the muscles of the trunk (zygapophysial joint) as discussed in the previous course; however, the core also includes muscles crossing the pelvis (lumbosacral joint) and hips (femoroacetabular joint). In short, the core is the synergistic function of the rectus abdominis, external obliques, internal obliques, transverse abdominis, erector spinae, psoas, multifidus muscles, quadratus lumborum (QL), and latissimus dorsi, as well as the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, hamstrings, and adductors.

Examples of the synergistic function of core muscles:

  • Anterior Pelvic Tilt (lumbar extension and hip flexion): Psoas, iliacus, rectus femoris, tensor fascia lata, adductors, erector spinae, multifidus, and latissimus dorsi
  • Posterior Pelvic Tilt (lumbar flexion and hip extension): Gluteus maximus, hamstrings (biceps femoris, semitendinosus, semimembranosus) adductor magnus, rectus abdominis, external obliques, internal obliques

Sports medicine professionals (personal trainers, fitness instructors, physical therapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, etc.) must know the function of the trunk muscles and core muscles, and how they contribute to trunk stability and functional performance for the detailed analysis of human movement, and the development of sophisticated exercise programs and therapeutic (rehabilitation) interventions. Further, this course is essential knowledge for future courses discussing detailed anatomy like myofascial synergies of trunk muscles (e.g. posterior oblique subsystem includes the gluteus maximus, thoracolumbar fascia, and latissimus dorsi), synergistic function of muscles (e.g. segmental stabilization via increased muscle activity of the multifidus and transverse abdominis), injury and physical therapy (e.g. trunk impairment scale, chronic low back pain, hip impingement syndrome, multifidus muscle atrophy), and sports performance (e.g. core strength, balance ability, stability, strength training, coordination with upper limb motion, and agility).

Obliques, Rectus Abdominis, and Transverse Abdominis
Caption: Obliques, Rectus Abdominis, and Transverse Abdominis

Study Guide: Trunk Muscles Graph, Additional Core Muscles, and Core Exercise Challenge

Video Lesson: Trunk Muscles


Putting It All Together Activity

1 sub-category

The Lumbo Pelvic Hip Complex (LPHC) a.k.a. "The Core"

2 sub-categories

Core Exercise Challenge: Activity:

1 sub-category



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