You’ve probably heard that your ‘core’ muscles are important,
but what actually are these muscles and why are they so important?
The core muscles are made up of your deepest abdominal
muscles. They include the transversus abdominis that is located at the front of
the trunk, the pelvic floor muscles, the diaphragm and the multifidus muscles
in your lower back.
When you engage the core, these muscles work in unison. You
can think of it as putting on a corset. The corset helps to support you around
your centre as you move your arms and legs, just as the core muscles do. They
can help to maintain the natural curve of the spine and are important for
supporting the lower back.
You shouldn’t just think of engaging your core when you
exercise, but also as go about your daily activities. Engaging your core
creates more power and strength through the limbs, making movements easier.
If you have been to one of my classes, you’ll now that at
the beginning of every session, I recap how to stand tall with excellent posture,
so you are ready to exercise. It’s so important to recap this, because, let’s
face it, ten minutes after leaving an exercise class you forget what you were
doing, and don’t often carry those ‘standing tall’ principles with you every
The same applies to the basic exercises. You can think of
them as re-training your bodies movement patterns, and over time, muscle memory
takes over, and suddenly, the exercise becomes easier. The basic exercises also
give us time to think about everything that we’re doing. Focusing on your
breathing makes the exercise easier to perform, co-ordinating your arms and
legs to work together, but most importantly learning how to engage and control
the ‘core’ muscles. These muscles are your powerhouse. They are the deep
underlying abdominal muscles which help you to control all your movements,
ensure that you are well supported around the centre of your body and avoid any
injury, especially to the lower back, while exercising.
I feel that everyone should have that solid foundation of
basic exercises that they practice regularly when first starting out, even if
it seems very repetitive, each time you perform that exercise you’ll learn
something new, or you’ll be able to add in different elements easily.
You may watch one of my beginner exercises and think it
looks really is. But even the easiest of exercises can be challenging if done correctly.
far as I’m concerned, Pilates is the best type of exercise you can do. It’s
great for everyone, regardless of your age or fitness level, there is always
something suitable for you.
is a mat based practice that teaches you how to use your stabilising muscles
(the core) to control movement through the arms and legs. It can be a great
full body workout, as it helps to build stability and strength throughout the
It’s a form of exercise that’s suitable for
everyone, including seniors, helping to change the way you look, feel and move.
It is not a”quick- fix” and you do need to persevere, but the results will be
worth it in helping to improve strength, flexibility and decreasing stress.
power and strength come from your ‘core’ or ‘centre’, working the deep
abdominal muscles to allow following movements while exercising. Pilates
focuses on improving your posture, so when you finish a workout, you’ll feel
like you’re standing up taller, and overtime the strength in the postural muscles
will improve making it feel easier to stand up tall and help reduce any muscular
Pilates is excellent for the rehabilitation of
injuries and can help relieve pain and muscular discomfort. Pilates works all
muscle groups in your body, teaching you to focus, gaining better awareness of your
body and release any muscular tension.
Pilates encourages you to perform movements in a
flowing and controlled way which co-ordinates mind, body and breathing. Quality
of movement is vital, re-learning correct movement patterns and postures,
improving balance, mobility and co-ordination.