What are we actually talking about when we talk about core?
Usually, when the core is mentioned, we primarily think about the abdominal area. However, this is not so accurate! The core is essentially much more than this, comprising of the abdominals, internal obliques, multifidus and spinal erectors.
Moreover, the muscles in our back (lats and traps), gluteal muscles, pelvic floor and diaphragm also need to be considered as part of the core as they all interact, often simultaneously, to stabilize and support the spine.
In an article I’ve written recently for Women’s Health and More
we had discussed the pelvic floor muscles and how this group of muscles become affected not only in a biological sense, but also inadvertently through training. These muscles can be significantly weakened by any type of training that endeavors to create too much downward pressure on your pelvic floor.
With our pelvic floor being central to our core, it is imperative that we learn how to look after and work these muscles on a deeper level.
How can we work out our core safely, with adequate pressure?
Typically, if one thinks about traditional abdominal/core training, the emphasis is usually on the rectus abdominis and obliques, as we are conditioned by society to believe that prominent abdominals are aesthetically pleasing. The only focus of this type of training is trying to obtain stronger and more contoured abs. However, exercises that involve too much pressure in this area have an adverse effect and may not give the desired results. Meanwhile, our pelvic floor muscles are being neglected completely.
The transverse abdomen can be thought of as a belt that hollows to contain everything in the abdominal cavity. Its function is to stabilize the lumbar spine and pelvis before movement of the lower and/or upper limbs occurs. Without it, everything weakens, and so, flat, lean abs should not be the sole principal when working out our core. Instead, good activation of your deep core is essential if you want the rest of your core muscles to work properly and help prevent things like back pain.
Did you know?
Even when you are performing a squat, we are working the muscles in your abdominals and back! With efficient breathing, you can strengthen your core even when executing squats. Since the core is our centre, it plays an important role in holding our posture and maximizing our movement potential, this is why it is really important to be able to control it even when we are attempting exercises that seem somewhat isolated from the core.
An equilibrium which combines the correct breathing techniques under ideal pressure will enable you to optimize your core’s potential. This is what we are able to focus on. Therefore, the moment you’re going to lift a weight – or even just hold your own body weight, you’ll be strengthening the core and the ‘natural belt’ that your body possesses.
So, how can we help?
One of the best ways of working the core is by making breathing central to
the exercise. Another technique beneficial to establishing a strong core is the practice of pulling from the pelvic floor all the way to the back muscles.
Wish to learn more? At SCRAM Gym we are introducing Women’s Balance Fit & Mommy Balance fit, where we can help you work through low-pressure training. These sessions involve exercises of varying intensities which combine exercises to improve cardiovascular resistance, functional strength and core stability, whilst prioritizing the central organs, pelvic floor and abdominal tissues.
We believe that is important to understand how the woman’s body works and by doing so, we want to help women develop proficiency and optimum health in this area
For more information or requests for consultations, send an email to [email protected]
Article written by Enac Armas Marrero