What is the ‘Core’?
You may not have tried Pilates, but you will most likely have heard people say that it’s good to strengthen your core. Or that you should definitely try these new core strengthening exercises.
In Pilates, we mention it a lot. We talk about how important the core is, and we incorporate a lot of Pilates core strengthening exercises in every class.
But what is the ‘core’?
Your Core Explained
The core refers to the muscles that make up the corset around your waist and pelvis. These muscles work to support and stabilize your trunk, as well as help you rotate and bend your torso. They further help stabilize the lower back, spine, and pelvis, preventing incidences of back pain.
The muscles of the core include:
1. The Transverse Abdominis
2. The Rectus Abdominis
3. The Multifidus
4. The Obliques
5. The Erector Spinae
6. The Gluteal Muscles
Many Pilates core strengthening exercises target these very muscles. But what muscle is responsible for what? Why do these individual muscles matter?
The transverse abdominis is probably the most neglected muscle in the group. This is the small and deep abdominal muscle. It literally acts like a corset around your pelvis and lower spine, offering support and stability. But when it’s weak – which in many people who experience back pain it is – it leaves you susceptible to an array of injuries and pain.
The rectus abdominis is the most well-known muscle in this clique. It’s the infamous 6-pack muscle group. This muscle is responsible for flexing the torso.
The multifidus is a thin muscle that runs along the spine. It adds stability and support to each vertebra, and is also important in maintaining proper posture and functioning in the back.
The obliques are the muscles that allow you to twist your torso from side to side. They further help keep the chest cavity open by pulling it downward and by compressing the abdominal cavity.
The erector spinae extends the spine. But it also supports proper posture, again, adding stability and support to the spine and your mid-section.
The glutes are the big muscles in the buttocks. These play an invaluable role in supporting the pelvis and spine. If these muscles become weak, back pain issues or other problems may arise.
Why Does The Core Matter?
The core is important when it comes to preventing pain, specifically back pain. Back pain is frequently associated with a weak core. The reason the low back comes under stress is often due to a weak core that causes other muscles in the lower back or buttocks to become overworked. In turn, you feel pain or soreness.
How Do You Work the Core?
Interestingly, the common belief that crunches are the sole way to work this muscle group is wrong. In fact, crunches may cause more issues than actually help you.
It’s best to incorporate a variety of core strengthening exercises into your regular routine. Pilates is a great way to do this. There are a variety of Pilates core strengthening exercises for you to choose from and for all fitness levels.
So are you ready to try Pilates for core strength? Contact Reform Studios today. Start your Pilates journey and pave your way toward a better life.
At Reform Studios, we strongly recommend a one-on-one session with one of our instructors – especially if you’re new to Pilates and have a history of chronic pain. They can help you get the fundamentals down, as well as help you explore safe options to avoid aggravating any problem spots. Our instructors can also help you determine your goals and how to get there.
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Check with your doctor or healthcare provider before trying Pilates. If they give you the green light, come join us at Reform Studios. Find your exercise happy place.
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