Updated: Jun 1, 2022
Our focus has been sharing ways for you to get “Strong by Summer.” Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve discussed the importance of strength and mobility and this week we’d like to bring our attention to the all- important CORE. Without a strong core, our overall strength program will lack success. More importantly, our functional fitness and everyday life movements will be limited, opening ourselves to increased risk of injury.
When we talk about the “core” most people assume we are referring to the abdominal “six pack”, however this toned outer layer of abdominal musculature is not the same as a “strong core”.
The core is a group of muscles that stabilizes and controls the pelvis and spine and therefore influences the legs and upper body; think from the base of the neck to the bottom of the glutes, wrapping all around your body like a girdle. Core strength is less about power and more about the subtleties of being able to maintain the body in ideal postures, to unload the joints and promote ease of movement. It helps us get on and off the floor, in and out of bed, sit comfortably at a desk, rake and vacuum without pain. Basically, it helps us perform in our everyday life. Core strength allows us to function in good posture, limiting injury. For athletes, a strong core promotes more efficient movement, not only preventing injury but also improving performance.
As we age, we develop degenerative changes, very often in the spine. The structures of the bones and cartilage are subject to wear and tear. Very often, we can completely control and eliminate symptoms with appropriate core exercises. Having strong and stable postural muscles helps suspend the bones and other structures, allowing them to move better. An imbalanced core can lead to problems up and down the body. For example, knee pain is often caused by insufficient pelvic stabilization.
A good core program focuses on awareness, what is stabilizing your body and what muscles are contracting to initiate that movement. Connecting deeply with the body through concentration is key in core training allowing you to be truly in tune with each movement.
Pilates and yoga are great ways to discover the core, though it can be easy to do the repetitions without truly understanding the targeted muscle groups. It takes patience to “find” your core, however, once engaged and connected, the core is a valuable tool to life-long strength.
Check out Pilates Core on Tuesdays 12:05-12:50p and Yoga Pilates Fusion on Saturday @ 9:50-10:35am at the Academy.
Or work with an expert, one on one, and develop a core strengthening program specific to your needs. Contact email@example.com for more information.
Lisa Kingston, Personal Training Director, Coach and Instructor at The ACADEMY