Core Muscles of the Trunk & Spine

The core muscles of the lower back and abdomen provide support for the spine. Core muscle strengthening is very popular these days for treating and preventing back pain as well as improved sports performance. Select the muscles below to view more details.

Rectus abdominus

The '6-pack' muscle at the front of the stomach

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Internal obliques

Lateral abs which side-bend and twist the trunk

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External obliques

Lateral abs which side-bend and twist the trunk

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Erector spinae

Small muscles either side of the spine

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Quadratus lumborum

Muscle between the pelvis and ribs which sidebends

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Splenius

Split into two muscles, Splenis Capitus and Cervicis

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Transverse abdominus

Also known as TVA, the deep core muscle

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Multifidus

A series of small muscles on either side of the spine

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The Main Core Muscles

The largest muscle of the trunk and spine is the errector spinae muscle which extends all the way up the back of the spine. Other large muscles involved in moving and supporting the spine are the large abdominal muscles, internal and external oblique muscles and the quadratus lumborum muscles.

A number of smaller muscles are also involved which attach to the spine.