“Core” – A Deceptively Bad Exercise Term –

124 comments written by Joshua Trentine

—A Deceptively Bad Exercise Term—

by Ken Hutchins

Herein, I point out a glaring oversight on my part. It seems to have escaped the notice of others, but it annoys me greatly. Therefore, I must expose it.

In The Renaissance of Exercise—Volume I (ROE-I), I include a chapter entitled Linguistic Distinctions. Therein, I discuss—among other questionable terms—the usage of “core” as in “core exercises” or as in “the core muscles” or as in “working the core.”

(Note that “core exercises” is appropriate if one means “the most basic exercises for the body,” but it is inappropriate if one means, “exercises for the core muscles.”)

In ROE-I, I criticize that we do not need another term for the fuselage of the body as we already have “trunk” and “torso.” I also note the blind disregard for the often-required appendicular links to the torso that is seemingly promoted by the usage of “core.”

In a later edition of that chapter that I have only privately disseminated, I additionally snapped that the human body is not an apple. This is a weak slam on my part, and I remain—until recently—somewhat dissatisfied with the earlier criticisms, although they do suffice on their own merit.

So here comes the big showdown!

The body, indeed, has a core. And we appropriately apply “core” as in “the body’s core temperature.” And we appropriately refer to the earth’s core in a similar manner.

But what about the core musculature? There is no such thing unless you are referring to those few visceral structures that possess smooth (involuntary) muscle. One cannot volitionally contract (or relax) the muscle of the gut, the bladder, or the uterus (joked about in medical school as “the king of the muscles”).

And I doubt that one is able to contract the liver or the spleen or the pancreas or the lungs or the kidneys or the adrenals with the MedX Core Machines. Obviously, this stupidity was not considered by MedX® when they chose their marketing verbiage, although it slipped my notice as well. Of course, to me, the term stank, but until November 2013, I had not truly tracked its scent to its foul source.

{ 124 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Pete Collins April 21, 2014 at 8:12 pm

Drives me nuts when I hear all these women bang on about how they have a strong core and exercise their core, its not their fault, they are brainwashed by these personal trainers, who have been brainwashed by their educators, who have been brainwashed by exercise scientists, who have been brainwashed by technical sports literature, who have been brainwashed by I bet 1 damn person who blurted out the comment “core” one day because it is cool and sells exercise programs and equipment.

It amazes me how people don’t engage critical thinking and seem to think everything they have ever heard from another person in their life is true.


avatar Happy August 21, 2016 at 12:27 pm

Great arcleit, thank you again for writing.


avatar Joe H. April 22, 2014 at 8:30 am

More semantics BS.



avatar Mike B April 22, 2014 at 3:10 pm

I think you have to pick and choose your battles. So the greater exercise world refers to the trunk or torso as core. Big whoop. I am a huge fan of RenEx and the protocol, but becoming the grammar police only serves to nitpick, and comes off patronizing, with the “we’re better than you” vibe. This closes doors of discussion and only hurts the cause.

Next time you’re at a party, walk around and correct everybody’s grammar. See how quickly you’re invited back…..


avatar Justin Smith May 22, 2014 at 1:50 pm

That’s a silly complaint of yours. This is more science than “party”, so definitions and terms are obviously important.


avatar Joe H. April 23, 2014 at 8:04 am

Quick hide the truth!

Someone should explain the difference between infamous and famous to Hutchins, the great thinker.


avatar Steven Turner April 28, 2014 at 6:08 pm


RenEX are not the first to question “core” as it relates to trunk or torso many other professionals have questioned “core”. When I asked the fitness inustry experts what are the “core muscles” most give a variety of answers some had transverse abdominus, multifidus, some had obliques, some had rectus abdominus, some had erector spinae muscles. The fitness industry experts can’t agree on what the core muscles are.

Professor Lyle Lederman wrote an excellent article called the Myth of the Core.

When it comes to “core” I don’t think it is a matter of grammar you have the fitness industry “core muscles”, which nobody can agree what the core muscles are. Most fitness industry experts don’t even know what the primary function of TA is. There are all these “core” exercises classes that can last up to an hour most of these exercises would be more hip and thigh.

Professor Lederman in his article mentions incorrect exercises for the “core” muscles in relation to lower back pain causing more harm than good.

A few good exercise for the torso or trunk is all that is needed.


avatar Ken Hutchins April 29, 2014 at 9:21 am

In reply to Joe H. and Mike B.:

Purportedly, this forum is for critical discussion of exercise. Mike B. seems to believe that my analysis “closes doors” and “hurts the cause.” On the contrary, without such analysis, there is no cause. Critical analysis is the basis of a cause to correct misguided thinking and action that is based on sloppy word usage. And it is extremely important that we all appreciate this.

Mike mentioned correcting people’s grammar at a party. For the record, I was neither discussing grammar nor suggesting someone correct it at a party. That would be social suicide. Also, grammar is one thing, word usage is something else.

However, a party is, indeed, a great venue to get into a discussion about exercise. And if it is appropriately broached in a kind and likable way, educating people about the language confusion surrounding such a word as “core” can be a highly successful marketing technique. My articles provide the reader with an almost-infinite variety of topics to apply in many kinds of different marketing approaches.


avatar Joe A April 29, 2014 at 10:40 am

“We might possess every technological resource… but if our language is inadequate, our vision remains formless, our thinking and feeling are still running in the old cycles, our process may be ‘revolutionary’ but not transformative.” -Adrienne Rich

“There is no greater impediment to the advancement of knowledge than the ambiguity of words.” -Thomas Reid

At some point one must consider whether being “invited back to the party” should be your leading motivation. Why not raise the bar? Why not raise the vision we have for ourselves (and others) and hold ourselves to a higher standard? Why must mediocrity be pacified?

If those around you do not appreciate the above, find some new friends.

“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” -Proverbs 27:17


avatar Joshua Trentine April 30, 2014 at 12:11 am



avatar Ed April 29, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Joe H,

Can you share a link to your website or book? Would like to see your accomplishments.




avatar Ken Hutchins April 29, 2014 at 7:12 pm

Response to Joe H. regarding “More semantics BS.”

About 1984, I wrote “Exercise vs. Recreation.”

A few weeks after I presented it to Ellington Darden, Wendell Hobby, a man who had suffered a near-fatal automobile accident and had been rehabilitated from a near-vegetable state to a remarkable degree of functionality by Ellington, was visiting with Ellington. Wendell—though brought to Nautilus in a grocery cart by his father—was then working on a college degree in communications.

Much of Wendell’s success was that he had memorized all of Ellington’s little book, Strength-Training Principles. I believe that he had memorized or almost memorized some of the other books Ellington published through Anna Publishing.

While Wendell was in Ellington’s office, Ellington handed him my article. After reading it, Wendell looked up at Ellington and posed, “Isn’t this just semantics?”

Ellington then responded, “Yes, Wendell, but semantics are just EVERYTHING!!!”


avatar Ed April 29, 2014 at 9:46 pm

Joe A,

So, where is your website with information that provides more useful information? Your publication(s)? Simply cutting and pasting quotes from other far more accomplished individuals in an attempt to criticize Ken Hutchins or others provides what value? What is the objective?

I’d challenge you to send the RenX team a picture and a listing of your credentials and accomplishments–academic, bodybuilding, financial (have you started a business, etc.), your website, etc.

Certainly I post critical comments, however, I do my best to focus on the objective vs. subjective. Certainly, I could pull a quote from the Bible or a scholar, but, how is that behavior reflective of critical thinking.


avatar Joshua Trentine April 30, 2014 at 12:08 am

hi ed, i think you mean this for “joe h.” not “A”


avatar Joshua Trentine April 30, 2014 at 12:10 am

Joe H also goes by Tom Sotas and i think db144 also, in case you want to try any of his multiple personalities


avatar enlite April 29, 2014 at 10:47 pm

I’ve always thought of the body as an integrated unit which is in fact what it is, no great revelation i agree. That’s why typical training routines always astound me when i hear people speak about chest day, arm day, shoulder day, back day. The thing that annoys me about the term “core” is that no one defines what the term means. Many seem to think the core is simply the abdominals but to me the core is the torso which consists of many muscles. This also ties into “functional” training and “stabilizer muscles” that are utilized by training on an unstable surface. I would like for someone to tell me what a “stabilizer” muscle is.


avatar Joe A April 30, 2014 at 8:12 am


Please go back and read Mike B’s comment, which was critical of the article. Then read my comment, which was a response to his criticism, and was in no way critical of Ken Hutchins or RenEx.

Sorry if that exchange caused confusion.


avatar Scott Springston April 30, 2014 at 10:56 am

Wow, a whole article concentrating on calling something core or truck or whatever. Hutchins great mind for exercise has come down to who cares stuff like this? One of the few remaining Nautilus thinkers comes down to boreing word game crap. I guess you’ve run out of really useful stuff to write and do. You guys want to keep the blog going but you really don’t have anything substantial to talk about so you come up with so what articles like this. Very sad. Arthur is looking down and laughing.


avatar Joshua Trentine April 30, 2014 at 2:05 pm

I’m embarrassed for you


avatar Ken Hutchins April 30, 2014 at 11:59 am

More Response to Mike B. and Joe H.

Although criticizing people in public—as at a party or while attending some other social setting—is socially unacceptable in most cases, one chooses his battles, as you have said.

Also, let’s recognize that I write in discursive prose that trains the mind to track along a certain ungiving path. This is required. But this is not the style used in conversation. My job is to give you factual information. Your job is to insert this into a palatable delivery that can help your audience.

There is also much to be said in favor of letting the chips fall where they might and recognizing that there exists a reasonable person here or there who will thank you for enriching his life, for showing him arguments that elevate him from ignorance and protect him from harm.

In addition to those fine quotations provided by Joe A., one from me is: “One who dismisses an argument by marginalizing semantics promotes babble.”

I once instructed one Jay Daukes (spelling?). Jay was an appellate judge (state? or federal?) renowned for his harsh rebukes of attorneys in his court. One commonly-told incident was of his rant against an attorney who whined against the Honor’s ruling on the basis that the other attorney’s arguments were “merely semantics.”

Honorable Daukes exploded with something to the effect of: “Merely semantics?! Merely semantics? The whole damn law is semantics! Semantics is your job! Merely semantics?!”


avatar Ed April 30, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Joe A – My apologies for the misunderstanding.

Scott –


“One of the few remaining Nautilus thinkers comes down to boreing word game crap. I guess you’ve run out of really useful stuff to write and do. You guys want to keep the blog going but you really don’t have anything substantial to talk about so you come up with so what articles like this. ”

So what have you contributed the provides any useful or valuable insight into training, nutrition, etc.? Ken explained the reason for writing the article…I’ve got the SuperSlow book and several of the stand alone bulletins he published from several decades ago and sure, doesn’t compare but nonetheless it provided some thoughts.

BTW, Jones’ articles weren’t infallible either. Many lacked objectively; others failed to adhere to standards that would validate claims that had been made. For example, the Colorado Experiment: beyond the pictures, the bodyfat measurements, etc., where was the true validation of the “experiment” that included bloodwork before, during and after? Close monitoring of the diet? Viator’s sleep habits? etc. Yet Ken’s article gets criticized…


avatar Joshua Trentine April 30, 2014 at 2:17 pm


I think we are plagued with a comprehension level somewhere below the 6th grade.

On who cannot understand the relevance of this article will find our writing well over their head, this is why we put 95% of our work on the RenEx Inner Circle.


avatar Ed April 30, 2014 at 2:29 pm


If it were me, I’d shut down the comments portion of your website or delete them. I remember when Fred Hahn had a nice forum years ago but it was so plagued by issues similar to what is happening here or worse…eg guys like Brian Johnston or Andrew Shortt trying to take it over, criticism regarding the SS protocol by Olympic lifters, etc., the whole thing got tubed in a hurry. No sense in letting it continue if the attacks are simply subjective commentaries and slams full of profanity, which are not helpful to anyone.

Will look into your Inner Circle.


avatar Joshua Trentine April 30, 2014 at 6:39 pm


I agree, that’s why I stopped the vast majority of public posting in favor of discussion on the RenEx Inner Circle.


avatar Joshua Trentine April 30, 2014 at 6:45 pm

day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year they continue….

There are more things on the internet than I can count that I might disagree with….if there were a informational site that i completely disagreed with or worse yet was offended by…. i simply could not make myself read it, nothing could drive me there.

So do we have a sickness or admiration?


avatar Ken Hutchins April 30, 2014 at 2:56 pm

More Response to Mike B., Scott Springston

You say “Big Whoop.” I interpret this to indicate that you don’t care if people are misinformed about word usage in exercise, particularly misuse of a word such as “core.” If my interpretation of your comment is incorrect, I apologize. Please inform me.

Well I DO care! And I hope that everyone else who reads this does care. This goes to the heart of the matter. And if you truly don’t care, you had better start caring! If not, get away from me!

The social contract—if any of us can pause for a moment to consider it—is that we are here to serve people… to help them. That’s what many of us are paid for. And our ability to help them is extremely limited because of the mountain of head trash they possess about exercise.

We all have head trash. And we have much of it about many subjects and on many levels. And it serves—not as the only impediment to progress—but perhaps as the greatest.

Certainly, we can help some people—rather robotically—by merely directing them to perform exercise in a prescribed way. But our success is hobbled with most people, because they are confused by the babble. We are not doing our job, and we are breaking our social contract if we merely let it go…if we do not try our best to help them understand the whys and wherefores involved in the process! This requires precise language.

As I explained recently on the Inner Circle: All of human enterprise is dependent on language. And all technological advances are intimately entwined with the distinctions devised with that language, particularly written language in the form of discursive prose.

There are two fundamental parts of discursive prose. The first is naming. The second is telling.
And although the telling is far more productive than the naming, because naming—in and of itself—accomplishes nothing; no telling can go on before distinctively naming whatever one is going to tell about.

All intelligent people agree on this! And Arthur Jones—regardless of the monster I believe he really was—would harshly blast someone for not agreeing with these precepts!


avatar Joshua Trentine April 30, 2014 at 6:41 pm



followed by:



avatar Mike B May 2, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Thank you for the well written response(s). I DO care, and am interested in real discourse.

My main point is this – (In my opinion), the message is not coming off correctly. It’s not effective. How you say things is just as important as what you say if your goal is to spread the message and change the culture. If you just want to be right, then yes, you are completely correct. But you didn’t back up your point. You didn’t explain why the term is so “foul”. Convince us of the need to stop using the term core and how this term affects the exercise world negatively.

Thanks for all your efforts.


avatar Matt Spriggs April 30, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Yes,I may be plagued with a below 6th grade comprehension.

And yes, we have a muscular core which seems quite appropriate verses terminology many cannot relate to. Rather than elevate, how will people ever come to use the word trunk? Such foolishness – you risk ostracism and missed opportunities to educate.

My temerity as usual will be classified as perfidy. Not to worry Josh…Ken can interpret for you.



avatar Joshua Trentine April 30, 2014 at 6:38 pm

Surely a man with such a vocabulary should be contributing more. What a fantastic use of language, bravo!


avatar Joshua Trentine May 1, 2014 at 12:38 am

No, Matt, there is no muscular core, and it is definitely not appropriate terminology.

“Trunk” is an old word and easy to relate to.


avatar Matt Spriggs May 1, 2014 at 1:14 am

Josh, you are intellectually inept.

The core is very appropriate – the hips are the real core!

The erector spinae, multifidus and pelvic floor are among a few of the many that are generally referred to as core.

How can I contribute more ?


avatar Joshua Trentine May 1, 2014 at 1:14 pm

The acetabulofemoral joints are the “real core” ????? is that right? whew….

Yes, I stand by my position, this is an important article for those who have the capacity to follow.

Surely a man with such as massive vocabulary will know where he can contribute.


avatar Ed May 1, 2014 at 8:23 am

The silly thing is, Ken simply notes his use of a term — “core” — is probably incorrect and takes a few minutes to offer a more accurate term. Nothing more, nothing less. Yet, it generates — love the term — “head trash”. Agree Josh on your observation regarding the web and it is a shame that it continues to empower such degrading behavior.

It amazes me to read what so many people have the bravado to post, hiding behind a keyboard and miles and miles of fiber optic or wireless network.


avatar Scott Springston May 1, 2014 at 8:53 am

Well I DO care! And I hope that everyone else who reads this does care. This goes to the heart of the matter. And if you truly don’t care, you had better start caring! If not, get away from me!

I care to a point about word usage but it seems if you’ve got to the point where you write a long article about something as exciting as the proper placement of a comma then you must have run out of muscle building ideas and concepts to discuss. I think the REN-EX group is caught up in fancy names and terms trying to sound smart and I think you should be above such tripe. I’ve always felt you were right up there with the likes of Arthur Jones in your thinking. These kind or articles just seem to be written to fill space. You’re better than that.


avatar Ken Hutchins May 1, 2014 at 9:02 am

Response to Enlite

“I would like for someone to tell me what a “stabilizer” muscle is.”

All skeletal muscles serve to move and stabilize, but perhaps not simultaneously. The muscular mover or movers in an action are assisted by other muscles that serve to stabilize the involved joint(s) during that action. In another action, the muscles previously deemed stabilizers might be the movers while the previously-deemed movers are now the stabilizers.

There are numerous possible variations. Some joints—like the shoulder or the knee—require a preponderance of dynamic (muscular) stabilization, while the elbow is largely statically stabilized. And although the elbow requires such little dynamic stabilization, the muscles affecting the elbow serve to stabilize other aspects of the arm and shoulder to a greater degree.

It may appear that some skeletal muscles of some body parts are merely movers or merely stabilizers. If we study their effect closer, we often find that our initial appraisal of their contribution(s) is too restrictive.


avatar Joe H. May 1, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Ken, have you done anything of note since 1984? Your claim to fame is working for AJ 30 years ago, writing an article and book (also 30 years ago) and selling retooled machines that you didn’t design.
Am I suppose to be impressed?

Oh, how I wish Dr.D didn’t get you the job at Nautilus. Ken are you an example of what 30 years of SS/RenEx can do for the body?


avatar Joe H. May 2, 2014 at 7:57 am

Ken, you should see a shrink about your AJ obsession. You just can’t stand the fact that he did what you couldn’t and that is make an impact in the weight training world (not to mention when you die, nobody will remember you nor will they make websites to honor you). LOL.

Glad you’re in Florida, God’s waiting room, let’s see if we can get you in the express line…


avatar Joshua Trentine May 2, 2014 at 1:14 pm

You guys are so full of hate, this is no way to live, I would rather be in the express line to die than to live this way.

It is a truly sad existence, I will spend my time here doing better, they day I spent a moment wishing the worse is the day I don’t want to live anymore.

I really and truly feel bad.


avatar Joe H May 2, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Josh y0u should feel badly and your help, please! You are a duplicitous and devious.
Perpetuating the SS bullshit doesn’t help anybody but those collecting money.
Ah, should we feel for you not wanting to live? Boo hoo what a whiny pussy. I can see why you’re still single, women don’t want a feminine man.


avatar Joshua Trentine May 2, 2014 at 3:50 pm

it’s really sad, i’m sorry you are stricken with this hate

avatar Joshua Trentine May 2, 2014 at 3:59 pm

are you not maybe just a little tiny bit concerned that you have concern, interest, thought of or have attempted to gather info about my personal life?

i did not know exercise caused such fear

avatar Jessica Avis May 2, 2014 at 10:53 pm

Hello Joe H,

With all do respect, it sounds like you have 99 problems…your tiny dick being one of them. Wishing death on someone and calling another man feminine isn’t going to make it bigger so why bother? Here’s your solution: leave the wife and kids, buy a yellow corvette and put this energy towards tending to your ballooning waistline. I’m sure you already know, the more rotund … a greater risk of heart disease meaning you have some work to do.

Please do us all a favour and leave this forum for those beyond adolescence.

Good luck Joe H!!

~concerned friend

avatar Matt Spriggs May 1, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Yes Josh – as far as I’m concerned the hips ARE the core as one cannot function without proper hip function.

My vocabulary is not very broad. Yours is abysmal along with your paucity of professionalism and decency.


avatar Joshua Trentine May 1, 2014 at 8:55 pm

Thank you for clearing this all up, the hips are the core…..gotcha.

Generally a broad vocabulary would be consistent with a decent reading comprehension.

I will be looking forward to your article explaining what a core is and how a ball and socket joint make it up.

SMH….You cannot make this stuff up.


avatar Mel May 1, 2014 at 10:00 pm

Good to see that you are returning to your core competency: rhetoric & grammar.


avatar Steven Turner May 2, 2014 at 1:34 am

The way the term “core” is used in the fitness industry and the importance placed on training the “core”, I wonder “pre-core days” how I survived. But than I look back at all the abdominal exercise I used to do – I might have to also include hip and thigh exercises.

It also make me wonder how I survived before “aerobics” came along and than I think back I used to run, cycle to and from school, swim all the time doing “aerobics” before “aerobics” was invented.

What I have learnt is that most of these fad activities are potentially dangerous, can cause long term injuries – so we should care.


avatar Matt Spriggs May 2, 2014 at 7:58 am


Again, the hips are the single most important regions for determining posture and balance. This is irrefutable and while I understand that RenEx philosophy does not recognize the “core”, this is my explanation as to why I believe the hips ARE the core.

Now, to further illustrate my point, a couple of questions.

1) Why is the Leg Press the single most important exercise without a close second?

2) ** (This requires moving away from exercise for a moment)
If a pitcher, boxer, martial artist, football player and just about any other athlete you can think of desires MAXIMUM FORCE PRODUCTION, where is this generated?



avatar Joshua Trentine May 2, 2014 at 1:09 pm

There is no “core”

Bones don’t determine posture, they do not balance, they do not generate force.


avatar Joshua Trentine May 2, 2014 at 1:17 pm

You should write your thesis and present it on your own forum…or if you like I will publish it here for open debate.


avatar Dennis Rogers May 2, 2014 at 9:43 am

This article reminds me of how I have attempted to market my services to new clients. The rational approach to exercise does not lend itself to the common marketing advice to write materials at the sixth grade reading level. Attempts on my part to follow this advice do this have been a mistake.
I have found that I am unable to communicate my message effectively on this level.
At times I have tried to’ speak their language ‘ and yet deliver an accurate message and I am finding it just doesn’t work.
So yes semantics are everything and it boils down to do I want to be part of the problem or part of the solution.
The problem is the trash that is prevalent in regards to exercise and the lack of distinction in terminology. The solution I think is to denounce the inaccuracies and stay on message.
Great article and just addresses the tip of the ice burg with this example.


avatar Matt Spriggs May 2, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Clearly, you are incorrect about this.


avatar Joshua Trentine May 2, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Great, write your thesis, i’ll publish here with your photo and give you the attention you desire, when can i expect your article?


avatar Joshua Trentine May 2, 2014 at 3:51 pm

and 3…2…1….



avatar Matt Spriggs May 2, 2014 at 4:12 pm



avatar Joshua Trentine May 2, 2014 at 9:05 pm

I assume you will not be writing your core thesis? What a shame that a man with such a massive vocabulary uses so few words and manages to say nothing.

In this thread I have now been called coward, pussy, and feminine.

Ken has had death wished upon him and been called numerous names.

Why? Ask yourselves this? Read your own words, tell me they make you a better person?

Are you not ashamed?

I have offered you an opportunity to contest this article that you find so offensive, yet I am a coward?….

I honestly feel bad that you guys live this existence and are trapped by our world, It is a terrible existence to not chase you own ambition, but rather try to ruin an others. It is terrible to be paralyzed by fear and ego.

good night, I’ll see you here tomorrow and the next day and the next week and the next month and again next year.


avatar Steven Turner May 2, 2014 at 8:42 pm


My understanding is that maximum force starts from the ground with proper feet positioning. Try throwing a punch or a ball with you feet together.

I had a so-called fitness expert write that with the high pull exercise people with weak core would lose balance. The picture shown had the trainee doing the exercise with their feet together. No amount of strength in the “core” wouId stop a person from over balancing with their feet together. I said simple move your feet apart balance problem solved – no need to do core exercises.


avatar Joshua Trentine May 2, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Wa-La’ ! instant balance


avatar Matt Spriggs May 2, 2014 at 9:06 pm

The hip or coxa make up more than just the acetabulofemoral joint (which you correctly refer to as the hip joint). Pelvic inclination angle occurs at the hips and is the most important factor in determining human posture.

Power does NOT shoot up from the ground like lighting through the subjects feet!



avatar Joshua Trentine May 2, 2014 at 9:18 pm

Precious….the discovery of Google.

Will you be cutting and pasting your thesis explaining how the acetabulofemoral joint and the innominate bones make a “core”?

Now might be a good time to read Ken’s article above.


avatar Jeffrey Muehl May 2, 2014 at 9:46 pm

Nautilus is now nothing, generic equipment. MedX is not selling machines anymore.

Ask people on the street if they know who Arthur Jones was. He has already been almost forgotten about.

HIT is already totally dead/irrelevant and forgotten about.

A small group of people are into, so what. Pretty irrelevant to the fitness industry at this point.


avatar Joshua Trentine May 2, 2014 at 11:12 pm

small group of old angry white men


avatar Joe H. May 5, 2014 at 7:51 am

I AM an angry white man!


avatar Mark May 6, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Well… Most hotel gyms still have exercise machines, with maybe a small set of dumbells. So in the absence of barbells and a power rack, those of us who travel still have to make due with Arthur Jones’ legacy.


avatar Jeffrey Muehl May 2, 2014 at 9:53 pm

These discussions are mildly entertaining. Like watching jack ass.


avatar Joshua Trentine May 2, 2014 at 11:12 pm

you can’t make this stuff up


avatar Ed May 4, 2014 at 6:09 pm

“small group of old angry white men”

…please, Josh. Don’t revert to their level.


avatar enlite May 4, 2014 at 6:54 pm

I appreciate the explanation Ken and understand what your saying but some individuals in the fitness world seem to think that a special group of muscles called “stabilizers” actually exist.


avatar Ed May 4, 2014 at 8:41 pm

“In this thread I have now been called coward, pussy, and feminine.

“Ken has had death wished upon him and been called numerous names.”

Again, these cowards throw out all of this bravado hiding behind their keyboards and miles of fiber optic cable & wireless. Where are their books? Websites? Pictures? Anyone can sit behind their laptop and spew crap like this…so what? What have they contributed to benefit anyone, including yourselves?

Just trash and cowards…society seems to be breeding and empowering these losers via the internet.


avatar Pete Collins May 4, 2014 at 10:25 pm

Jessica Avis

Your reply to Joe H was a true pleasure to read.

It was a grammatical 1 inch punch, bravo



avatar Mike May 6, 2014 at 12:46 am

Ken/Josh, I am interested in your opinion on the following article. It mentions both the term core and trunk. What are your thoughts?



avatar Ed May 7, 2014 at 6:34 am


What are your thoughts on the use of ‘core’ and ‘trunk’? Did you contact the authors of the article?

On a side note, the hernia issue that is discussed is a huge reality.


avatar Mike May 8, 2014 at 10:37 pm

Ed, I have not contacted the authors of the article, but the use of the terms did not confuse me. At least I don’t think so 🙂

This discussion has intrigued me. I read some articles articles by Dr. Stuart McGill, a professor of spine biomechanics. He mentions in depth the muscles that he deems the “core”, which by the way is not (by his definition) just another term for “trunk” and “torso.”

Here’s an intro from http://www.backfitpro.com/documents/WhyEveryoneneedsCoreTraining.pdf
I have been working with back pained people and high performance  athletes for over 30 years. If I were asked to choose the single most influential variable that links pain and performance enhancement, it would be an 
underperforming core. Why is this? What is the core? Core stiffness is essential for injury prevention. Core stiffness is essential for performance enhancement. Core stiffness is not optimized in body building exercises. Core stiffness requires dedicated training. …..

With all due respect, is Dr. McGill filled with “head trash” for his development and use of the term over the last several decades? Perhaps the problem is not that the term exists, but that the term has been so bastardized and diluted for mass market consumption that its real meaning and importance is lost.

Again, thanks for your efforts. I enjoy these forums a lot!


avatar Donnie Hunt May 7, 2014 at 11:42 pm

I’ll repost this question and hopefully post it with more clarity.

When a trainee reaches the point of a runaway negative while using a RenEx machine, how much of an inroad has been made? If I’m understanding correctly once this temporary level of strength has been reached the trainee no is no longer capable of reversing the direction of movement? The reason I bring this up is because for while I thought the weight pinned on the stack limited the potential inroad to that level. After reading more about the RenEx protocol and how everything you guys use are made FOR the protocol. It all has to be there, minimized momentum, proper cam, proper postioning, continuous tension, submitting to the exercise, etc.

If I recall correctly Joshua, on a Youtube video you say something along the lines of being able to reach a 40% inroad on a RenEx machine vs. a 20% inroad on a more conventional machine. I know that each exercise works together in a workout for a progressive, continuous inroad.

Just thought I’d go ahead and post this. Some stuff I’ve wondered about. Might trigger some conversation here or on the Inner Circle site.


avatar Joshua Trentine May 8, 2014 at 10:27 pm

Donnie i’ll write an article up on this


avatar Donnie Hunt May 9, 2014 at 8:21 pm

Sounds good man, lookin forward to it.


avatar Chris May 8, 2014 at 11:59 am

seriously this article is mindless in the extreme.

Everbody knows what Core refers to when discussing exercise and muscle groups, who cares if the lieral meaning of the word is different from what “ALL” understand the reference to be about.

Is this all RenX can talk about.

20 year old Darden books, injuries to atheletes whose cure has no relevance to SS, and now argueing over the use of a word , be it right wrong or indifferent, has no bearing at all on exercise performance – none.

RenX Team this is getting more ridiculous by the post.

SS can be good stuff but its not superior to many methods in all outcomes, just another option.
Perfect that make it the best it can be, and accept its shortfalls as there are with all methods.
This is not the Holygrail, cos it does not exist, – not even close

Shut the free side down, stick to members only forum as its was said it would be, and stay off others forums.
OR i should say the ones you are not barred from.


avatar Joshua Trentine May 8, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Hi Chris,

See you back here as soon as another article goes up.


avatar Chris May 8, 2014 at 1:17 pm

yep i must be nuts.

Looked in a couple of days ago, and thought oh god here we go again, and was not going to say a thing.

It should of stayed that way.

Josh you have brought this on yourself for what you said else where, you created the Monster that now haunts you.
RenX is really cool, not be be all, but bloody good, its you, your arrogance and abuse that has brought this to your door, for all the times you took it to others.

I apologise for getting involved, simply pointless, i allowed myself to get pulled in.
That will now stop.

By the way you got a great physique, and i would love to have ou calf weakness, but you simply got to get your attitude up to speed with your body.

Shut it down, regroup, then re-brand yourself without the superiority complex


avatar Joshua Trentine May 8, 2014 at 10:24 pm



avatar Doug H May 8, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Classic Hutchins! My only complaint about the article is its brevity.Keep ’em coming,Ken!


avatar Joshua Trentine May 8, 2014 at 10:25 pm

Thanks Doug,

We save the in depth stuff for inner circle, the attention span here isn’t always so great


avatar Jeffrey Muehl May 8, 2014 at 9:06 pm


What other forums are you referring to? Just BBS and Dr. Dardens? Guess it is plural. Stuff is dead. Coffin is at least 12 feet under.


avatar Jeffrey Muehl May 9, 2014 at 12:48 am


You said “Josh you have brought this on yourself for what you said else where, you created the Monster that now haunts you.”

Really? The monster? What monster — the fifty plus people out there that dislike RenEx — if a tree falls in the forest does anyone here it? Chris what has Joshua brought on himself? The wrath of who? Two web sites..?

How do you sleep at night Joshua?

In any case HIT continues its decent into oblivion and insignificance.


avatar Joshua Trentine May 9, 2014 at 2:06 pm


I was trying to figure out what the “it” is I brought upon me.

Perhaps it is a loyal readership from people who say they don’t like me?

Thin line between love and hate…the guys who are most negative hit the site most….true sign of a bitter hitter….if i had to guess it’s that “muscle greed”….they never got what they wanted and i’m a good target for them.


avatar Mark May 10, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Why can’t “core musculature” simply mean the muscles that surround the core?


avatar Joshua Trentine May 11, 2014 at 2:30 pm


Did you read the article?


avatar Mark May 11, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Yes. He mentions the body has a core, but never defines what that includes and doesn’t include. Torso & trunk are all encompassing terms that include everything – organs, skeleton, stabilizing muscles, and involuntary muscles. So unless core musculature has an already existing definition in anatomy as the involuntary muscles within the core, I don’t see why core musculature can’t be adopted as standard reference to the muscles that surround the core. This is how language evolves….


avatar Joshua Trentine May 12, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Marc, if this is what you got from the article i don’t believe i can help anymore


avatar db144 May 12, 2014 at 7:44 am

Joshy I love you !


avatar db144 May 12, 2014 at 8:03 am

Josh how could I attain the same level you’ve reached?

Is RenEx the fastest way?


avatar Steven Turner May 12, 2014 at 6:49 pm

Hi Josh,

Not sure how relevant this is but I heard politicians being questioned about about promises, apparently we have “core promises” and “non -core promises”.

That had me thinking when I was trying to find out what are “core muscles”, apparently we have “core muscles” TA, multifidus (a few more) and than apparently we have non-core muscles, abdominals, obliques etc.

“Everybody knows what core muscles refer to”…than can someone tell me.

“Muscles that surround the core”…where do you start ?

Shouldn’t it be what are the functions of the core muscles? Most of the so-called core muscles have totally different functions from one another and this doesn’t include the so-called non-core muscles.

Josh – Iis RenEx the fastest way a question or a non question?


avatar Joshua Trentine May 14, 2014 at 3:24 pm

i’ll take non-question


avatar Ed May 13, 2014 at 10:08 am

db144 –

So lets have a link to your accomplishments? Seems you’ve reached new lows by hiding behind the keyboard posting nonsense like this.


avatar Joshua Trentine May 14, 2014 at 3:23 pm



avatar Mike May 14, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Any response to my comments Dr McGill and his use of the term core? I think it’s very relevant to this conversation. I am not making personal attacks or trolling of any kind. In fact, I had a killer renex workout this morning. And yes, it’s helping me tremendously. I just want to participate in the “showdown” and ask real questions.


avatar Jaylen August 21, 2016 at 12:35 pm

That’s a genuinely imssirpeve answer.


avatar Pete Collins May 14, 2014 at 4:33 pm

db144 I think means dumb bastard with 144 mm dick


avatar db144 May 15, 2014 at 1:22 pm

And I’m the one hiding behind a keyboard…
Pete go cry on the shoulder of your boyfriend (Josh) and leave the training to the men.


avatar db144 May 15, 2014 at 8:09 am

Josh you may want to put your website renewal date on the calendar to avoid yesterday’s problem.

Ed crawl back into your hole.

How about ask Josh why his placement in competitions are lower than what they were before he “found” RenEx. The way RenEx has been marketed one would think he would win any competition he attends but that hasn’t and will never happen.


avatar db144 May 15, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Josh are you still pretending to have all the answers to weight training?


avatar db144 May 15, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Speaking of core, how does the Hutchins belly look?


avatar db144 May 15, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Josh how do you think these comments look to visitors?

Do you think these comments look professional and someone would want to visit again seeing how you and the monkeys respond to criticism?

My comments, they are meant for you the old man Hutchins and not for the general public.

Eventually you’ll learn or maybe not…


avatar Dave May 15, 2014 at 9:09 pm

They make you db144 look like a childish clown who is in no more than the 7th grade.


avatar Joshua Trentine May 15, 2014 at 5:05 pm

“When the people of the world all know beauty as beauty, there arises the recognition of ugliness. When they all know the good as good, there arises the recognition of evil.”
― Lao Tzu


avatar Jeffrey Muehl May 15, 2014 at 5:58 pm


Why do give a rats ass ?


avatar Jeffrey Muehl May 15, 2014 at 6:01 pm


I meant why do you give a rats ass?


avatar Steven Turner May 15, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Hi Mike,

Back pain – Training in the weight room with with Olympic lifts and power cleans. I am not a doctor but my recommendation would be to not train using these lifts back pain is certain to occur. A lot of what Dr McGill is saying for the athletes can be easily fixed with proper skills training.

I think the great weakness in strength and imbalance is due to the exercise selection. Most of the current exercise prescription is not to use machines because there not “functional”. Then these trainers prescribe exerises that cause muscle imbalances for atheltes, mainly olympic lifts.

Arthur Jones talked a lot about cause and effect and also mentioned the inherent dangers of olympic lifts. Here you have a Doctor of spinal mechanics and he his allowing dangerous lifts to used that can cuase injury to the spine.

Ken or Josh would know more than me on this but what about the MedEx lumbar extension machine to strengthen the quadratus muscles.

When I see a lot of the exercise that are prescribed for the core muscles I really question are they training actually training the “core” muscles?

Proximal stiffeness core muscles are primarily to stop motion – I would think that this would be the opposite when trhowing a punch or ball?

I did notice an advertisement from a fitness company for a six week – one day per week – 45 minute training program for “core and trunk” noticed they also included “trunk” .


avatar Ed May 16, 2014 at 9:45 am

Db –

I’d be more than happy to find a mutual location to see if you’re man enough to tell me face-face to crawl back in any hole. I didn’t spend 12 years in the military to have a keyboard coward abusing the freedoms our society provides type chicken@#$ stuff that you spew.

Of course, I’m sure the very challenge of pushing your fat butt away from your laptop and twinkies may be a little more than you can handle.


avatar db144 May 21, 2014 at 7:52 am

Josh when is you next competition?


avatar Ed May 22, 2014 at 12:39 pm

When is yours db144? Post your site and pictures.


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avatar Brian Liebler May 21, 2014 at 5:36 am

How is The ROE V-II coming along? I’m looking forward to some positive discussions.


avatar Ben Tucker May 21, 2014 at 10:36 am

Where is this arrogance from Josh?
I’ve been coming to this site for a few years and folks here have been nothing but gracious and helpful.

Now, if I were to be an ass hat, like some of these trolls, then I would expect rebuttals and flak.

About this article, it is very well written and educational. It helps to shed light on the improper (yet popular) use of the term “core.”
Yet, people do not like being challenged about falsehoods that have been entrenched into exercise lore. It’s like Jim Fixx, running and aerobics; You don’t question it. It’s been grandfathered in.
It’s as if people are threatened by critical thinking.
And unfortunately, the majority are threatened.

This is a casual observation, but I don’t see RenEx as the type to take the world by storm. If they were going to do that, then they would be the type to come up with the next P90X or Insanity program, be highly marketable by being sexy sleek and cool, make tons of cash on the front end only to fizzle later.
Rather, they strike me as the type to endure for the long haul, only being interested in what’s true and what works.
In my experience, what’s true and what works, as far as exercise goes, is never sexy, sleek, cool or fun but rather arduous, requiring critical thought and unpleasant.

So basically, I don’t think RenEx is appealing to the masses but rather the few purveyors of truth that engage in critical thinking skills and welcome education. That usually narrows down a scope of people but they are obviously ok and still profitable with that. I tend to find that if you stick to the high road, you still tend to make a decent living.

RenEx team, am I close?

And to the trolls… hater’s gonna hate.

Excuse me while I go waste time trolling a CrossFit forum.


avatar Marc Noel May 21, 2014 at 12:51 pm


Great to see you commenting. While you may have been for a while, I have not been monitoring.

Regarding core, I comment to people that, when they talk about deep muscles, there are none, because, if you look at an anatomy chart, there are the abs, obliques, erectors, etc., but behind them is the fascia, then the internal organs. Where are these deep muscles? Also, there are only so many ways to move: left, right, forward, backward, rotate left, rotate right. There’s nothing else to do. I say it is a slap in the face to bodybuilders over the last 60 years to say they have NOT been addressing their cores.

Regarding semantics, etc., someone has to take a stand for precision, accuracy, doing the right thing in anything, if it is to advance properly. Some people may not care, some of us do. Those that do will move things forward properly. I don’t care if I offend some people by correcting their grammar, etc. I am just reminding them… they learned it long ago, but have let it slide. A good example is with regard to punctuality – clients initially agree to be on time, then gradually start showing up late. When I call some on it, they think I’m being petty. There is nothing wrong with expecting people to be on time. Nor is there anything wrong with expecting people to use correct wording. Many can… they just choose not to. Why should we have to cater to the imprecise? That would be the worst slippery slope. Nothing would get done properly, nor move forward.

“Ahhh, that’s good enough…” IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH!


avatar Marc Noel May 21, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Mike wrote (2 wks, 1 day ago):

Ken/Josh, I am interested in your opinion on the following article. It mentions both the term core and trunk. What are your thoughts?



Following is an excerpt from Back to the Box’s (referenced in the article) info page:

“Our training programs utilize functional equipment such as resistance bands, gymnastics rings, pull-up bars, kettlebells, barbells, plates, plyometric boxes, stationary bicycle, rower, and GHD.”

This tells us everything we need to know – stay away from them!


avatar Steven Turner May 22, 2014 at 6:36 pm


Over 20 years ago I had an inguinal hernia through over exertion. The article says that there is an increase in inguinal hernias I found that interesting especially from a website that claims the importance of the “core”. Question should be why the increases of inguinal hernias?


avatar Ed May 24, 2014 at 10:19 am

A doctor friend of mine and I were talking about this two or three years ago and he said “hernias have been on the increase for years as we’re lifting more and more weights”. He said 100yrs ago, they were common amongst farmers…inguinal hernias were called farmer’s hernia and they’d wear belts and such to keep them controlled.

I’ve got a small bone spur in my shoulder and the MD and I talked about weight training during my visit. He said the human body simply isn’t designed for the poundages and exercises we’re subjecting it to and we’re seeing the consequences.


avatar Steven Turner May 24, 2014 at 9:23 pm


In the article by Stuart McGill he states in realtion to “core stiffness” he says, “They function primarily to stop motion. They should be trained this way”.

Josh could we suggest TSC for the core.

When I first heard of “core” it was all about transverse abdominus “turn on TA” you would hear the fitness instructor say. It appears from Stuart McGill article the core muscles have increased to basically the whole torso.

Form what Stuart McGill has said it would appear that weak core has been a big problem in “throwing” movements. If for the past 100 years or so all boxers have had weak core we have produced some big punches despite their weak cores.

Does anyone know of Stuart McGills scientific research studies as he states, “The exercise progressions that our scientific work…..”? I would like to have a read.


avatar Joshua Trentine May 25, 2014 at 9:39 pm

the only core im aware of is in a apple or a nuclear reactor….if you can apply TSC there i say have at it


avatar Ed May 27, 2014 at 9:36 am

I’ve got McGill’s _Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance_ and have read it twice (slowly), so, may be able to answer your question. Not sure what you’re asking?

The second half of the book identifies a series of four key exercises to keep the spine healthy and strong, with several additional options once you’re mastered these. (His version of the crunch is probably the toughest around and he notes even his strongest athletes have difficulty doing it properly.) I don’t recall his using the term “core” extensively, but, I do know (and apologies to the owners of this site) that he is not a fan of machines for a number of reasons.

McGill also notes (much like Gironda 30 or 40 (?) years before him) that training the abs properly will strengthen the abdominal wall, protecting the spine, allowing one greater spinal health and ultimately mobility. Actually seeing your abs is all about diet.

In addition, he states:

First, training approaches intended
to enhance athletic performance are often
counterproductive to the approaches used
when training for health. Too many patients
are rehabilitated using athletic philosophies
or, worse yet, “body-building” approaches
designed primarily to isolate and hypertrophy
specific muscles, and progress is thwarted.
Many bad backs are created from using inap-
propriate performance philosophies.


avatar Joshua Trentine August 29, 2014 at 12:17 pm

McGill actually commended us on the RebEx Trunk Ext design


avatar Marc Noel May 25, 2014 at 5:17 am

Perhaps that doctor is right, with regard to conventional training. Faster speeds enabling heavier weights, greater force from said weights AND greater acceleration, multiple sets per exercise, so repeated exposures, and multiple exercises per body-part, resulting in varied attacks on given body-parts. Add it all up.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out how the Hell I used to train two hours a day, four days a week.


avatar Joshua Trentine May 25, 2014 at 9:39 pm

closing comments


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