Explore your Core

Most of calls I get from prospective clients seek to “strengthen their core. The reasons stem from a variety of circumstances:

“I had a couple of kids and my belly has not been the same since.”

“I threw out my (back,hip, shoulder) and my doctor recommends I do Pilates to strengthen my core.”

“I am a (runner, dancer, golfer, athlete) and I know that core strength will give me an advantage.”

Once they come into to the studio, they are surprised that the core is not just the abs or six pack!

So what are the core muscles of the body? Basically, it’s the area from the bottom of the rib cage down to the top of your pubic bone.  It incorporates the sides of your torso as well as the low back and base of your buttocks, or your pelvic floor.

Anatomically speaking, the major muscles of the core are abdominal muscles which are the transverse abdominis (the corset of muscles that wrap around your torso), the rectus abdominis (the elusive six pack!), and the internal and external obliques (side muscles). To find deep parts of your abdominal core, wrap your fingers around your waist with your finger tips pushing down on the inside of your pelvic bones.

The low back muscles are your multifidus muscles and are located on either side of your spine.  If you place your hands in the back just above the bony areas of each hip bone as you stand tall, you can feel one side pop up as you take a step forward with the opposite leg.

The area below is your pelvic floor and it’s always fun to see which description will click with my clients when I’m teaching them how to connect with that area in their bodies.  Now, sit tall with your legs hip distance apart, relax your belly, butt and thighs.  Pull the floor of your bottom inward and upwards, as if to stop the flow of urine, or like your hugging a tampon or like your holding out before climax (I always save the latter as my last attempt, and I wonder why, because they get it immediately!)

Now that you’ve got a general idea of what and where you core is, contact us to find out how Pilates Encore can fire up and support your core as your “powerhouse.”

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