The core is so much more than your abdominals or six pack muscles.
Maybe you've been told by a medical professional that you have a 'weak core' and you should take up Pilates. You might then wonder why in class we don't just do tons of abdominal crunches.
Why is a weak core bad and what caused it?
We are forward moving creatures, so we tend to focus on using or training the muscles of our front body. This often leads to a weakness at the back and sides.
Even as a runner, I used to do a run and call my exercise complete. Without training the back body (including the glutes) and breathing mechanisms, you're missing a trick and even risking an injury.
A weak core can lead to back pain, poor posture, poor balance (which isn't a party tricky, you need this for walking and running), pain standing or sitting for long periods and risk of injury.
What makes up the core?
Your core is made up of more than just the front side of you, it's actually more cylindrical. Think about it like a tin can:
The top is made up of your Diaphragm
The cylinder is made up of your superficial and deep muscles which include:
Front abdominals (Rectus Abdominis, Transversus Abdominus)
Abdominals that start at the front and wrap around your sides and back (External & Internal Obliques)
Muscles at your back including your buttocks (Quadratus Lumborum, Erector Spinae, Multifidus, Glutes and Latissimus Dorsi)
The bottom is made up of your Pelvic Floor muscles
While this is a slightly simplistic way of thinking about your core, it's useful to understand why we might train all around the tin can to strengthen your core.
So, when you're next in your Pilates class working on breathwork, your back body in prone, side lying glute work and arm work for your lats - just remember that you're training your entire core and making the whole tin can stronger.
Want to stay up to date on all blog entries and have access to FREE short Pilates videos to keep you moving? Sign-up here for my monthly newsletter.