Core Stability Or Core Strength? Do You Know The Difference?
Have you ever been told you need to “strengthen your core”?
Did you go to a gym or a pilates class and still at the end of it not really understand how to do it?
The truth is I’ve been in the same situation. Even after years of pilates training, I didn’t have a true sense of what my core was or should be doing.
If you’re like me you probably held your breath and gripped the muscles in your pelvis, thinking that more tension and muscular engagement was the secret to a stronger core.
I grew up in the “150% Effort Club”. I was longing for acknowledgement and approval so I did everything with a lot of …tension. It didn’t help that the exercise culture of the time was about “feeling the burn” or doing it “harder”.
I see this outdated approach in the bodies of a lot of people... and frankly I’m still in recovery from it!
There are a lot of knee and hip replacements out there that are the result of the misguided idea that doing an activity longer, harder or faster is a recipe for fitness and therefore wellness. But that's another blog!
We sacrificed form and fundamentals for quantity.
Now we know better.
We know that over exercising creates as much inflammation in the body as eating foods that are problematic to us. We know that everybody has a different threshold for exercise and that some people end up getting injured as the result of doing yoga, CrossFit or Pilates.
They don’t have sound fundamentals!
I believe that the reason for that is that we all want to enjoy the result without putting in the time to allow our bodies to learn basic skills of movement and then do them consistently over time to allow our connective tissues to adapt.
One of the most important skills anyone can learn is how to stabilise the CORE.
No it’s not Sit-ups and planks!
It’s the ability to move your legs and your arms independently of your spine. You probably don’t even know what your spine does now.
We can change that!
For many people, they move an arm and their whole spine lurches away from the arm that’s moving. When we add load…lift weights or peddle a bike for 50K we can create strain on both the joints of the spine and the tissues surrounding them. Our bodies are willing slaves to the desires of our minds, however when we continually use our bodies in the way they were not designed to be moved, at first the body compensates and then it complains in the form of pain and then it breaks down.
One of the most important skills that will help with movement at any age is to learn how to organise your skeleton…it used to be called posture but to me that has a “stiff” connotation. I like to think of it as creating an optimal relationship with gravity so that your body can function in the way it is designed to work.
I use a technique called “Loops” to teach alignment with a mind-body focus. They are small movements that put the pelvis, the rib cage, the shoulders and the neck and head in a relationship with one another so that the smaller “core muscles” around the spine can naturally do their job.
For most of us the only posture training we got was the order to “Stand Up Straight”. What the heck does that mean? Loops is a modern approach to posture that works!
AND Then What?
So after we learn to find our own unique alignment through “Loops” the next step is to learn how to stabilise your core.
We do that by becoming aware of keeping the pelvis and spine quiet as we lift an arm or a leg. If we are using surface muscles it is a sure sign our deeper core muscles are not working. So we have to find that delicate balance between too much and just enough in order to train the stabilising function of the deep core muscles.
If you’ve stayed with me this long….your eyes haven’t glassed over I want to let you know that learning how to do this is one of the best movement skills you can ever learn. It’s like flossing your teeth..for the rest of your bones.
You’ll get way stronger over time because the forces of loading through your arms and legs will get distributed through your entire body instead of landing in those weak link areas where you “feel stiff or in pain”.
You’ll develop a more intelligent body by using that grand piece of computer between your ears to master your body .
I can teach you how.
Your balance will get better, you’ll be able to get up and down more easily, you’ll walk better and if you do yoga, pilates or even Crossfit you’ll learn to be a “good mover”.
This March is Core Stability Month in my live online program. You’ll get four classes per week…two unique yoga and pilates classes that will focus on building stability through the spine and then using the weight of the arms and legs either through light weights or using an elastic theraband to build a stronger more resilient body. Plus you get the replays in case you miss the class.
Book your spot NOW!
Unique learning experiences
This isn’t like any other class you’ve ever done because I blend exercises I’ve learned from over thirty years of study in Yoga, Pilates, Somatics, Feldenkrais and bodywork, to create a unique and effective movement lessons that will awaken both your mind and your body.