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The core has been described as a box which is made up of muscles including abdominals which makes up the front wall, paraspinal and gluteal muscles makes up the back wall, while the diaphragm makes up the roof and the pelvic floor and hip girdle muscles makes up the bottom. Inside this box are 29 pairs of muscles.1 These muscles have been described as either local or global and also two types of muscle fibers comprise these core muscles: fast twitch and slow twitch fibers. The local muscles are those which comprised of slow twitch fibers and are deeply placed, have short muscle length, attach directly to vertebra, are aponeurotic, have slow twitch nature, are active in endurance activities and usually are poorly recruited and may get inhibited. These muscles include pelvic floor muscles, deep transverse spinalis, internal oblique, multifidi, and transverse abdominis. The global muscles are those which comprised of fast twitch fibers, and are superficial, fusiform, posses long levers, have fast twitch nature, are active in power activities and are preferentially recruited therefore have tendency to get shorter and tighten. These muscles include rectus abdominis, quadrates lumborum, external oblique and erector spinae. The local musculature has been further divided according to their stabilization function into primary and secondary stabilizers. The primary stabilizing muscles are those which do not result in the movement of spine when they contract. These muscles include multifidi and transverse abdominis. The secondary stabilizing muscles are those which contract primarily to stabilize the spine, but they also create movement of the spine. These muscles include internal oblique, quadrates lumborum, diaphragm, pelvis floor muscles, iliocostalis, and lognissimus (lumbar portion). The primary function of global musculature is to produce torque and movement of the spine.
Rectus abdominis muscle: Origin – muscle origin takes place from two tendinous heads:
These fibers then run vertically upwards.
Insertion – insert into the front wall of the thorax, along a horizontal line passing laterally from the xiphoid process, cutting in that order, the 7th, 6th and 5th costel cartilages.
Nerve supply – lower six or seven thoracic nerves
Function – lumbar spine flexion
Origin – this muscle originates from the eight fleshy slips which arise from the middle shaft of the lower eight ribs. These fibers then run downwards, forwards and medially.
Insertion – most of the fibers ends by forming a broad aponeurosis which gets inserted into the xiphoid process, linea alba, pubis symphysis, pubis crest and the pectineal line of the pubis from above downwards. The lower fibers of this muscle inserts directly into the anterior two – thirds of the outer lip of the iliac crest.
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