Seven in 10 Americans can't locate the "core" on a human body, a new survey says.
The news is surprising, experts say, considering how often we're urged to strengthen, tighten, tone, target, challenge, sculpt, activate, rock, or blast our cores.
The survey, conducted in shopping malls across the country, included 2,800 subjects divided roughly equally between men and women. While three in 10, asked to locate the "core" on a diagram of the human body, correctly pointed to “the lumbopelvic-hip complex, which involves deeper muscles, such as the internal oblique, transversus abdominis, transversospinalis (multifidus, rotatores, semispinalis), quadratus lumborum, and psoas major and minor, and superficial muscles, such as the rectus abdominis, external oblique, erector spinae (iliocostalis, spinalis, longissimus), latissimus dorsi, glute maximus and medius, hamstrings, and rectus femoris,” the remainder of subjects either guessed incorrectly or just stood and stared at the interviewer, chewing slowly on a Cinnabon.
The research was undertaken by the National Council on Core Strength, an association of personal trainers, kettlebell manufacturers, and magazine headline writers. The next step, they say, is a public education campaign.
"The core is crucial, bro," said Zach Bradford, 24, chief researcher, from the floor, where he was doing bird-dog crunches. "You gotta have a strong core."
"And you can't blast your core if you don't know where to blast," added Cassie Sprinkles, 27, a personal trainer who was performing Swiss ball jackknifes nearby.
"You use your core every time you bend, turn, or lift!" they then shouted in unison.
Some other key findings from the research:
- 11% of respondents think the core is a part of the brain
- 24%, asked to find the core, pointed to the genital region
- 30% asked the interviewer whether they were giving out free samples
- 6% volunteered that they had recently had a "core smoothie"
The researchers say the results are discouraging, but they're committed to spreading the message of core strength.
"6 Easy Exercises to Strengthen Your Core," said Jeff Hurkins, a magazine writer. "13 Essential Core Exercises for Runners."