You may have heard about the importance of strengthening your core as part of your exercise regime, but what does this actually mean?
Firstly, the core is a complex group of muscles within the trunk that act as stabilisers, help transfer force between limbs and can initiate movements.
A misconception is that our abs are the ‘do all and end all’ of the core muscles.
Common exercises described to strengthen your core include planks, sit ups and push ups, but these exercises tend to only strengthen the superficial muscles of our abdomen, such as the rectus abdominus (our abs) and our internal and external obliques.
We do have another important muscle that is vital to our core stability!
This muscle is known as the transverse abdominis (or TA as it is commonly referred to). It’s the only abdominal muscle that has the ability to stabilise and protect your spine. This is because the TA is the deepest abdominal muscle and wraps around your abdomen like a corset. When this muscle contracts, it provides a stable base for your upper and lower limbs to move from. Unfortunately, exercises such as planks and sit ups do not target the TA.
So how can you strengthen this muscle?
Pilates is a great way to strengthen this deeper muscle whilst giving your full body a work out. The benefits of a strong core include:
reducing back pain;
improving athletic performance; and
improving postural balances.
“Every moment of our life can be the beginning of great things” – Joseph Pilates
If you’re yet to try Pilates, we do run both individual and group sessions at all four clinics – and beginners are welcome. Our Pilates instructors are also trained physiotherapists and are happy to give you more information during your next consult. Or feel free to call the clinic to organise a Pilates assessment.
Sarah Biermann – Physiotherapist
For more information, call The Physio Clinic on 8342 1233 or click below to book online.
Prospect | Marryatville | Blackwood