IT’S NOT UNCOMMON for people to talk about core exercise these days. But do you really know what your core is and how you should work it? The core muscles are some of the deepest muscles in your body, not only your abdominals. A weak core can lead to poor posture, back pain, poor balance, hernias, incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse (a condition where the bladder, uterus, or rectum bulge or exit the body through the vaginal opening). Through the different stages in our lives, a woman’s body changes due to fluctuations in hormones, changes in metabolism, weight gain, stress levels, and the demands placed on our bodies such as childbirth. A properly balanced exercise program that includes safe and effective core exercises should be a part of every woman’s routine, regardless of her age.
How do I know if I’m not working my core properly?
Proper stability exercises will encourage activation of the deep muscles that support the body but will still allow you to be flexible and move. The core is a team of muscles: your diaphragm, pelvic floor, deep abdominals, and back stabilizers. When functioning optimally, this team provides a coordinated effort in anticipation of our every move and is the foundation for movement. Poor core connection results in the abdomen bulging outward during exercise. This causes increased intra-abdominal pressure that increases pressure onto the pelvic floor. Signs that your core is dysfunctional can include back pain, hip pain, leaking urine during exercise, poor posture, and chronic muscle tightness in the hips and lower back.
So what are core exercises?
People are often shocked and amazed to find out how weak their core truly is, especially when they’ve been doing abdominal crunches to improve their strength. The function of the core muscles cannot be trained by doing sit-ups. Exercises that focus on proper alignment of the spine and pelvis, coordinated activation of the core muscles, and balanced movement will influence your core most effectively. Start each exercise with an awareness of the pelvic floor and the deepest layer of abdominals supporting you. An exhalation will help you to find your core. Working with a qualified teacher can help you determine if you are activating these often difficult to feel muscles.
Still not sure about core activation? Our team of qualified teachers can create a customized program for you in our studio or one you can work on at home. Our unique partnership with many local health care providers makes our sessions a great complement to your rehabilitation needs. To book an assessment or appointment, connect with us at 905 892 1239 or email us at .
We’re ready to help you restore your core!