Naturally engaging your core – EVERYDAY
From this …..
Most of the time our core functions without us even realizing – as soon as you stand or sit in a “good” posture your core muscles will engage. The core is rather like a shoelace which is done up just tight enough. If it is not firm enough, you will notice your shoe is slipping and your feet may become sore as you grip harder with your toes. Similarly, if your core muscles are not engaging well enough, you may grip with your hip, buttock or outer back and abdominal muscles and this can lead to pain. Equally, if your core is “switched on” too tightly or active all the time, joints can become compressed and painful. Ideally, the muscles will switch on and off as needed for all tasks from the simple such as sitting at a desk, to complex such as scoring an amazing goal in the World Cup.
When physios and exercise physiologists talk about improving your core, the idea is not to brace the abs and pelvic floor with every step. Rather, we begin by ensuring you can engage the muscles correctly. We then move to being able to engage the muscles in increasingly difficult exercises – often beginning in lying or seated on a fitball while moving the arms and legs in different patterns. This is the approach we take at Total Physiotherapy in our Pilates classes. Where possible we incorporate exercises into standing to make them functional for everyday tasks whether that be gardening, housework, lifting or sport.