I have encountered many people who believe that sit ups and crunches are what “core work” is all about. This is a misconception. When we talk about the “core”, we are talking about the deeper postural muscles that support our structure allowing the more superficial muscles to do their work safely.
Many clients will come in and do sit up by tightening their belly and working it hard. In order to strengthen our lower core and take pressure off the lower back, we must focus on working deep not hard. Focus two inches above the pubic bone. Exhale and draw the belly down and we “crunch”. Don’t tighten. Think of zipping up from the upper inner thighs, through the pelvic floor to the deep belly. You should not go for a burn. Core muscles are a different type of muscle fiber than our global or more superficial muscle. They will not cause a burning sensation. No pain no gain is not the answer with the core. Remember, Deep not Hard.
Another excellent core exercise is the plank position. You can do this on your hands or, if you have bad wrists, try it on your forearms. Again, remember to draw the belly in. If your belly is tightening and sticking out, you are not working core. On the contrary you are putting your lower back in danger.
Core strength is important for more than a flat stomach. It is essential for proper function of the body; good bio mechanics will give you optimal performance. It will keep you pain free and give you stronger more efficient movement. Regardless if you are an athlete who wants to improve performance or a person who just wants to feel better, core efficiency is the way to go.
Pilates is the best way I have found to improve core strength. It focuses on the postural muscles and encourages the body to find its own inner control and strength. It has definitely improved my performance and my longevity as an athlete.
Sponsored by Shari Nyce of Nyce Bodies Pilates Studio Pennington
Shari develops personalized, challenging workouts for every individual. Whether you’re a new mom, recovering from an injury, or a professional athlete, Shari will put you on a customized path to strength & well-being. Visit her website or call the studio to learn more about Shari’s private, semi-private and group sessions.
Shari Nyce starting her training as a dancer. She was a Principle ballet dancer with several east coast companies. She then found her true love in Modern dance. She worked in NYC with Keith Young’s dance company. Shari decided to move west and continue her dance career doing company work but also film, television, commercial, and video. In 1988 while in LA she began teaching Pilates. She worked with Mari Winsor for a few years and then struck out on her own. She has acquired certifications in Physical Mind, Stott, and BASI. She also holds certifications in Gyrotonic and yoga. Shari teaches the Anusara method.
One Tree Farm Road
Pennington New Jersey 08534