Having a strong core doesn’t mean you have a rippling six pack from doing 100 crunches every day. However, core strengthening does require you to be consistent in doing regular strengthening exercises.
But what is your core?
Your core is an important part of your body. It is made up of 4 muscle groups that work together to provide stability, strength, flexibility and balance. Your core muscles are used even when you aren’t doing anything, for example standing still or sitting down. Reaching up to grab something out of your cupboard and bending down to pick up something off the floor are just some of the day-to-day activities that engage your core, with many sports also using core muscles to power activities such as tennis and golf. Many elite sports are now reverting to a primary focus on core to improve strength, range and power output – a primary example being the Australian Olympic and Paralympic Swim teams!
Poor core strength can often be the cause of back pain and aches and pains that occur from poor posture. By stabilising your spine through improving your core you can help prevent not only back injuries and improve your posture, but also prevent injuries that occur from falling over by having better balance and stability.
The 4 muscle groups that make up your core are your transverse abdominals (wrapping around the front between your hips and rips), pelvic floor (forming a sling underneath), multifidus (strong stabiliser running down the length of your back) and your Diaphram!!
The rectus abdominis are part of the mid section of muscle groups associated with your core, but they are technically not a stabiliser, and will not prevent injuries or stabilise any movement. Therefore, basic crunches aren’t going to help build your core strength. Pilates is a great way to help build your core muscles using controlled movements that are low impact. The principals of Pilates focus on improving stability, flexibility, posture and strength through exercises that strengthen core muscles.
At Vibe our Pilates classes focus on helping people learn how to engage and build their core. For more information about our Pilates classes visit our website or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.