Gazette letters: Abs and core, street markets and the homeless

Trainer Matt Smith unravels the mystery of abs and core.

Trainer Matt Smith unravels the mystery of abs and core. - Credit: Archant

What’s the difference between abs and core? writes Matt Smith, personal trainer, Dalston.

This actually comes from a client and I thought it was a good question, as they are often interchanged needlessly.

Abs is generally the shorthand given to the abdominus rectus muscle group or the “six pack” – a very superficial muscle group that allows the body to bend slightly or “crunch”.

The core is everything. The deep muscles wrapped around your spine that help with posture, the obliques, the muscles on the side of your waist, and even the pelvic muscles that help with bladder control and other functions – and the “abs”.

As a population we don’t use the core as we used to when we were hunter-gathers. We’ve become lazy, the muscles weak. We sit for major parts of the day. We don’t need to support our trunk as we used to.

Cut to: back pain, hip pain, postural issues, hernias etc.

So you definitely need to work your core, but not necessarily your abs. They’ll come along for the ride. Use loaded carries, weighted twists, planks/hollow holds or pilates or yoga rather than just sit-ups or crunches, which done wrong have a tendency to lead to neck pain.

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The abs are a branch – the core is the entire tree.

• Dalston PT Matt Smith trained the Hackney Gazette runners for the Hackney Half and will be answering your fitness questions in this space from time to time. If you have any health and fitness or lifestyle questions, email him: Or check out his Instagram page: @fireandsteelfit

I’m all in favour of the relaunch of Kingsland Waste Market as long as it isn’t based on the Broadway Market/Chatsworth Road/Well Street Market model, writes Patrick Mackervaie, London Fields ward organiser, Hackney South & Shoreditch Labour Party.

I’d much rather see it modelled on the 1970’s/1980’s Ridley Road Market with a wide variety of stalls, and produce from around the world, fruit and veg stalls, clothing stalls, electrical equipment stalls, gardening, maintenance and temporary paid for pitches for local people.

Broadway Market no longer caters for local working class people in the borough, it’s all pop up this and that and overpriced stalls selling overpriced items

The three markets I’ve mentioned above don’t sell goods that local folk either want, need, or can afford.

It’s the same with both Well Street and Chatsworth Road, they only seem to cater for the well off. Local working class residents seem to be overlooked and squeezed out and our opinions and suggestions fall on deaf ears at Hackney Council.

It would be nice if the Labour run council, it’s Labour councillors and the Mayor of Hackney would learn from the previous failed venture of both Chatsworth Road and Well Street markets and take on board that local people, working class people and those who struggle to get by from week to week, do not want yet another market that only caters for the better off among us.

Even Hoxton Market seems to have lost its originality, its character and what it once was and I feel it’s about time that we had a second market which caters for everyone.

I’ve never once met a real farmer running a stall on Broadway Market, so calling it a farmers market is an outright lie. I should know, I worked on a fruit & veg stall on Ridley Road for many years in my youth and I’ve previously worked on a real farmers market, selling farm produce and none of them resemble the Broadway Market.

If we have a wide variety of stalls selling everything from linen, curtains, clothing, veg, fruit stalls etc, we end up with a flourishing market, we also create the opportunity for young people in Hackney to gain employment and learn about street market trading.

Managed and run in the right way with the council’s market inspectors and an onsite manager, Hackney would pull in the much needed revenue from licensed pitches as well as from those who wish to have a pitch for the day, which then could be put into other services we rightly need.

I’d like nothing better than to see a flourishing market that caters for everyone, for the many, not the few.

As readers of the Hackney Gazette will know, the treatment of the homeless by the Labour Party is a disgrace and it has always been so, writes Christopher Sills, Dunsmure Road, Stamford Hill.

About 50 years ago the BBC programme Kathy Come Home revealed the treatment of the homeless which shocked the nation and was one of the reasons that Hackney went Conservative in May 1968 by just four votes.

One of the many things the Conservative Party achieved in its three years in control was to treat the homeless as human beings with no-one in bed and breakfast accommodation in our final year. Sadly our policies started to be reversed the day the Labour Party regained control in 1971 with the result the situation is now as bad as it was in 1967.

A new Kathy Come Home is now required.

I became convinced that the European Union was doomed when the Euro was proposed as there was no way that the economies of Germany, Greece and Italy could be merged successfully unless they became a single country and even then it would fail.

The Euro is the reason for the Italian crisis with youth unemployment of 40 per cent and so many Italians working in Britain, who are an indirect cause of the homeless crisis.

Anyone living here on March 29, 2019 is and must remain welcome and I am not one of those voted to leave because of European Union because of immigration issues

Because of the Euro, The European Union will be history before it is 100 years old. But will its collapse be peaceful and will everyone remain friends?