The Back Place Blog

July 18, 2008

Getting to the core

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Administrator @ 10:05 am

Core muscles are a hot topic now among physical therapists, trainers and other body experts. Why? Think of your core as your body’s mid-point: the trunk. The core muscles include transversus abdominis, lumbar multifidus, the diaphragm and the pelvic floor muscles. Not only do these muscles surround, support and stabilize your spine, but they also communicate vital feedback to your nervous system. Getting strong in your core — your center of gravity — can reduce back pain, improve athletic performance, prevent injury (better balance) and even reduce urinary stress incontinence.

The Chinese knew about core stability ages ago. In massage school we learned a little Tai Chi, including the concept of dantien, the center of balance in the body located about three finger widths below the navel. In Tai Chi, it is said that “the source of the posture lies in the waist” and “the source of the will is in the waist.” The waist is considered the commander of the body.

A great way to improve core strength is to use exercise balls. As you try to keep your balance, you’re activating all those muscles and improving their reactivity. Another great core strengthener is Pilates. Of course, with any exercise program, you’re going to want to maintain a gradual pace, maintain proper form and stop if you feel pain.

Powered by WordPress