Why do Pilates teachers love to say that?
Well, try it right now- pull your navel into your spine and see how long you can hold it.
Whew…harder than you thought and boy was that good for you!
How was it good for you? You got a stronger core, a stronger back, increased strength in the pelvic floor…wow, the list goes on and on! Try it a few more times.
When you pull that navel into your spine, you engage your deep core muscles and that helps to support your spine. Our spines are meant to be flexible, thankfully, but they do need support and that is what the core muscles do for us. Those muscles include stabilizing core muscles (transverse abdominus), flexion and extension core muscles (the 8 pack), the obliques (rotation), and your deep core moving muscles, the psoas (which connect to the top of your leg bone and help to pick your legs up). More muscles that work with the core are the back muscles, latissimus dorsi (largest muscle in the body), back extensors, inner thighs and the glutes. The core is actually made up of a lot more than just abdominals, but all of these muscles work together to support your spine and that helps us age better, move better and feel better.
Athletes need strong cores to swing (bats, gold clubs, tennis rackets, throw baseballs, you get the idea), to run (the psoas), to do yoga (oh yeah!), it’s called the core for good reason, it’s the powerhouse of the body, and the stronger yours is, the better off you’ll be and that’s a promise!!!
Do you have any supercharged core exercises? What’s your favorite way to work you abs? We’d love to hear about it :O)