Tune Up Fitness® Tune Up Fitness Blog » Core Strength: Find Your Tubular Core

Core Strength: Find Your Tubular Core

It’s been a long, long time since golf has been the domain of men alone; women have played, and excelled at golf, for years. But the societal pressure for women to have thin waistlines may end up getting in the way of having a powerhouse swing.

All healthy abdominal muscles stick out from the body, like an inner tube around your middle. This means not just the ‘six-pack’ that we’re all constantly encouraged to develop, but also the oblique muscles that run around the side of the body. Because of this, when the obliques are strengthened appropriately both to support the core and to create a strong swing, the female body becomes less like an ‘hourglass’. However, it’s been a long time since a healthy, strong, competitive sportswoman has had to concern herself with fitting in with outdated ideals, and hopefully this misinformed image will start to fade from all of our minds.

To get the obliques active, try the Boomerang pose which I posted in my last blog, or you can also find it in the Yoga Tune Up® 10 Minute Quick Fix for Lower Back video here. Both men and women golfers alike will benefit from creating a strong oblique line, and will enjoy this core exercise!

Check out Coregeous to strengthern your core.

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About This Author

Sarah Court is an Integrated Yoga Tune Up® Teacher Trainer, IAYT Yoga Therapist, and Vinyasa Yoga Teacher. She teaches weekly Yoga Tune Up® and Vinyasa classes in Los Angeles, teaches anatomy for yoga teacher trainings, and trains Yoga Tune Up® teachers internationally. Sarah is a Doctoral candidate in Physical Therapy, and in this process has spent several years in both inpatient and outpatient clinical settings. She brings this significant experience to her teaching, attracting clients and students with a desire to move intelligently, regain mobility after injury, surgery or joint replacements, or manage chronic conditions. Sarah is an award-winning graduate of Princeton University, and has been featured on exercise.com and The New York Times. Find her Yoga Tune Up® schedule here or go to her full website.

Core Strength: Find Your Tubular Core

  1. Hi Sarah. I’m not a golfer but I kickbox. I am excited to apply The YTU Tubular Core concept of using the core muscles, ie. obliques, as well as the muscles of respiration (including the intercostals, diaphragm, serratus group, deep spinal muscles and the abdominal muscles) in order to stabilize the spine when I’m kick-boxing. Now I have a whole torso life-vest providing cushioning and stability from every angle.

  2. Sebastien Noel says:

    C’est vrai pour le Golf mais aussi pour beaucoup d’autres sports.D’actualité, de plus en plus de femme font du Crossfit et le corset Tubulaire est très important pour ce sport.

  3. Samantha Martin says:

    I never thougth about this before, but it makes perfect sense the way you explained it. While my core is strong, I have a hard time keeping awareness on tubular core when adding other movements. Definitely something to work on and I appreciate your explanation…it’s liberating to be okay with a more muscular core and less concerned over the hourglass appearance.

  4. My rolfer used to get angry when people would refer to the abs as their “core”. She would emphasize that the core goes all the way around the body. It’s not the six pack. I found it fascinating that from years of “core work” which was actually only ab work, I tightened my abs in a way that wasn’t healthy. My connective tissue was so tight it was dead. I couldn’t “access” my abdominals because of stiffness. After much intense visceral manipulation and oblique strengthening, I’m able to use my true core.

  5. Katie Alba says:

    I’ve had teachers, not ytu teachers, tell me to pull my belly button to my spine or I will get a domed belly. I was terrified of creating more pooch in my mid section so I sucked in as hard as I could. But a logical, thinking person would know that a muscular abdomen would have muscles sticking out of the belly, just like a bicep would. Thanks for smacking me on the forehead. (Doh!)

  6. I think of the tubular core in two different ways: On one hand it has changed my Pilates-view of sucking the belly-button, flattening the lower stomach and also getting a thin waist. On the other hand I had learned a way to teach the contraction of the core muscles in a TRX Suspension Training course by first separately contracting front and back side, then those together, followed by a lateral contraction to each side, combining those and then all four movements. This leads to a trunk that is rather “pinned down” (shortened) than elongated. With the tubular core, we start from an inflated position and therefore “round” and “long” torso, which I like is more helpful.

  7. Ananda Tinio says:

    The tubular core has pulverized my mind’s 2-dimensional thinking, quite literally. I have always thought of the core, and also taught the core in class, as being comprised of just the abdominal muscles, never mind the whole 3-dimensionality of front and back body and the space inside. It’s amazing how we are 3-dimensional beings in a 3-dimensional world and yet to understand and compartmentalize concepts, what is multi-leyered becomes compressed flat for easier understanding. That’s the mind. The tubular core demands mind/body connection and 3-dimensional embodiment!

  8. Mary says:

    Thanks for pointing out that your abs can be healthy and stick out a litlte at the same time. The 6 pack look seems like it would allow much room for beathing.

  9. alysa farrell says:

    Being new to the YTU program and verbage, The questions by Ann & Alexa with your return comments are helping me to undertstand the The breakdown of the yogatune up tubular core. Understanding the verbage mentally-it makes sense- but feeling it in your body AS you are DOING boomerang is empowering! I can actually feel the internal and external wrap of obliques…wrapping AROUND my sides! contracting and stretching. Its as if my obliques are saying, “FINALLY! we are fully being used, This is How I’m Ment to move, This is my function!”
    Now Im feeling fuller breath capacity because mucsle of my core and inhalation ar working together. Which I can Really feel while in the intense lateral flexion of boomerang-breathing purposely into that extended side. yippee!

  10. Roselea says:

    I taught my first post first five days class tonight. The class is called core and I could not contain all my new vocabulary. I think I may have overused the term tubular core, need brainstorm new words to interchange with my new words.
    What really worked for me was the inhalation to balloon the belly, gathering the core strength then exhaling into whatever core work was being done. Light bulbs were turning on all around the room.

  11. Sarah Court Sarah Court says:

    Hi Alexa,

    Focusing your attention on the contraction will not only build greater strength while contracted (and thus create more extension in the opposite side) but it will also increase that side’s ability to then extend, so I say go for it!

  12. Alexa Kim Alexa says:

    I think I’m finally starting to understand how boomerang strengthens the obliques due to Anh Chi’s question and Sarah’s answer. I’ve always thought of boomerang as a really challenging and exhausting stretch. After learning today that the feeling of stretching is the central nervous system’s instruction to the muscle to contract, I’m wondering if the muscles on the side which is in extension also become stronger after focused stretching due to the firing and activation of the muscle fibers. I’m also wondering if I’ve only been doing half the work for a proper boomerang because I’ve only focused on extension of the stretched side and had not considered contraction of the short side.

  13. Sarah Court Sarah says:

    Hi Anh,

    Oblique muscles are involved both in lateral flexion and in rotation of the spine, so just as you commented that you were feeling the stretch in the obliques on the long side, that opposite “short side” is getting contracted.

  14. anh chi says:

    hi sarah, can you explain how boomerang strengthens the obliques? it’s the lateral bend at the wall that we just did today? i felt like i was stretching the obliques on the long side and contracting maybe mostly ql on the short-side so it’s not a strengthener in the way that i would traditionally think of it.

  15. Nancy Cochren Nancy says:

    I am also new to the concept of the tubular core but i can immediately understand the benefits. My past efforts to achieve core stability would involve shortening the waist, flattening the spine or drawing in the low ribs. A common cue would be to “pull the drawstring on a high waisted pair of pants” or “tighten your wide belt”. Of course these miss the point the the core muscles are not just working at the waist line but the full “tube” of the abdomen. I will be exploring my strength in this area and how it translates into all my poses!

  16. Peggy says:

    As a new student of YTU, I find “tubular core” a challenge. I look forward to the recommendations from everyone and I begin my journey, let alone improve my core.

  17. Heidi Broecking heidicb says:

    I will be adding YTU Tubular Core to my own practice, teaching students and telling pretty much anyone who wants to listen. The “wrapping” action it creates, has totally changed how I look at facilitating and sustaining support in the core of our bodies. It is about so much more than then just the front body.

  18. Tamara Z says:

    I love hearing about new core exercises. I’ve been in the fitness industry a long time, so I often feel that I’ve heard of almost everything out there. Thank you for this new pose to try out.

  19. Aura Carr says:

    I am finding the concept of a “tubular core” very inviting and am just starting to feel what it means. The Revolved Abdominal. Pose really gets in there for me. It takes a good deal of focus to not just exhale and hold in from the belly as I used to do. My obliques are not that strong so I will being incorporating this one into a daily routine.

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