The concept of core stability has been known for years among athletes, coaches, trainers and physiotherapists.

But if trainers and physiotherapists know and recognize its importance, this is not always the case among athletes and coaches.

The scientifically supported truth is that “core stability has been studied to be fundamental for efficient biomechanical functionality, to maximize force generation and minimize the load on the joints in every type of activity, from running to throwing activities” (1 ).

Furthermore, according to Kibler and colleagues, it is particularly important in overhead sports, including tennis.


This is because having a stable and performing center of the body allows the upper and lower body to move freely without adapting to more or less marked trunk instability.(2)


For those who are new to the topic, it is useful to know that the core is anatomically made up of a muscular “cage” in which the pelvic floor is the base, the diaphragm is the roof, the abdominal muscles are the anterior wall and the extensor paravertebral muscles and quadratus lumborum the posterior wall. (3)

When all these muscles are activated at the same time, intra-abdominal pressure is increased, thus allowing it to truly become a rigid cage, anticipating the movement of the upper and lower limbs, giving stability to the athletic gesture and the kinetic chains typical of that sport or activity. (4)


These studies and these considerations make clear the usefulness of training core stability with the aim of preventing injuries and increasing sports performance.

But how to do it correctly?


As we have seen, the core is composed of a set of muscles that perform diametrically opposed functions (e.g. rectus abdominis VS lumbar extensors), core stability training should “not be focused on a single muscle, as stability of the body is obtained through finely coordinated movements and muscular activations” (5). This leads to the need to include training in the development of strength and stability of a specific kinetic chain for that sport.

For example, in a tennis player it will be useful to propose exercises that involve the lower core and lower limbs, while in a football player the work of the upper limb will have less importance (but not zero).


For these reasons it is necessary to contact an expert clinician who knows how to recognize the specific needs of both the sport practiced and the individual athlete who comes to the clinic.


  • Kibler WB, Press J, Sciascia A. The role of core stability in athletic function. Sports Med. 2006;36(3):189-98. doi: 10.2165/00007256-200636030-00001. PMID: 16526831.
  • Akuthota V, Nadler SF. Core strengthening. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2004 Mar;85(3 Suppl 1):S86-92. doi: 10.1053/j.apmr.2003.12.005. PMID: 15034861.
  • Richardson, C. A., Hodges, P., and Hides, J. A. (2004). Therapeutic Exercise for Lumbopelvic Stabilization: A Motor Control Approach for the Treatment and Prevention of Low Back Pain. 2nd ed. London, United Kingdom: Churchill Livingston
  • Jensen BR, Laursen B, Sjøgaard G. Aspects of shoulder function in relation to exposure demands and fatigue – a mini review. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 2000;15 Suppl 1:S17-20. doi: 10.1016/s0268-0033(00)00054-1. PMID: 11078900.
  • McGill SM, Grenier S, Kavcic N, Cholewicki J. Coordination of muscle activity to assure stability of the lumbar spine. J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2003 Aug;13(4):353-9. doi: 10.1016/s1050-6411(03)00043-9. PMID: 12832165.