I forgot to mention in the Wii post that the Wii Fit talks a lot about core muscles.
I had not heard of “core muscles” prior to the Fit, though I did intuit what they were. Especially when they became “those things that hurt” after doing the Fit’s balance games–which are, in essence, all about leaning slightly one way or the other.
Althouse has a post about this, though with not much commentary, referencing a New York Times article on how people are wrecking their backs in the quest for washboard abs. I had a couple of thoughts.
Like, first, if they meant “abs”, they would call them “abs”, not “core muscles”. There was no stigma attached to “abs”, such that they, like stewardesses, had to seek a new name. If the secret to great abs was just “exercise your abs a lot”, well, that wouldn’t be much of a bloody secret now, would it?
Second, I used to be really skinny. This was a time when I could crank out a hundred sit ups, and was required to, actually, as part of my martial arts training. Never had six-pack abs. I never thought of it as something to strive for. In fact, I thought–and still think–it’s a little effete to focus on that sort of thing.
Third, when did washboard abs get to be the thing everyone had to have? What’s wrong with a nice, flat stomach? Or even a slightly rounded one? And if they’re so gosh-darned important to have, why can’t people face just doing what needs to be done to get them without wrecking their bodies?
OK, I’ve gone into full Andy Rooney mode, which means it’s time for this post to end.