Our bodies are beautifully created and I actually don’t think that we will ever fully understand this perfect creation.
One of the amazing harmonies is the way our muscles compliment one another – on the inside and out. One of these groups is the well-known core muscles. For years I had referred to the ‘core’ and mentioned it in my classes and workshops quite liberally. But honestly, if someone really nailed me down on what I was saying, I would have faltered with my knowledge. I would have said something like – ‘it’s the deep muscles of the torso’ and made a reference to the transverse abdominis. I then realised that I was uncomfortable with talking about the core without the full knowledge of which muscles actually were the core muscles, where they were located, how to activate them and then translate that all into functional movement patterns. This lack of awareness was only amplified further when I developed a very acute pain in my lower back which completely incapacitated me for weeks. All this ‘core work’ and I had back pain… clearly I didn’t know what I was doing.
This started a whole new interest for me, which resulted in being part of the Pelvic Floor First project. Introduced to the Continence Foundation of Australia by my good friend Lisa Westlake, it has been the most eye opening, deepening of knowledge, understanding and awakening process I have ever had in my 26 years of being in the fitness industry. Now I totally get it and understand how it all functions. Now if asked what is the core, I can confidently respond knowing that what I am saying is supported with research and physiotherapy. It all comes down to an understand that the abdominals and core are completely different – they are both important but they have specific functions and if the abdominals are tighter and stronger than the core, then issues can arise (as I had experienced first hand). The focus on making sure that you have a six pack, sucking in your abdominals or bracing your mid-section muscles all the time, can lead to dysfunction and pain. These outer muscles or some say outer core (not sure what that means since core refers to something on the inside. So how can you have something on the outside of a core called the outer core? An apple has a core, but is the skin an outer core????) play an important role in movement of the trunk, transferring power and stabilising the spine. The balance between the strength of the core muscles and the outer skeletal muscles of the trunk is important, especially nowadays where the average person sits all day and their resultant poor posture.
So how can you have the opportunity to gain an insight into what is happening in your body and also appreciating how everyone is different? Core Foundations is the perfect workshop to attend. On the 31st May in Melbourne and the 8th August in Adelaide, Shira Kramer, women’s health physiotherapist will be presenting with me, using the real time ultra sound to demonstrate what is the core, how does it work and how to activate it correctly. If you are interested in truly understanding so that you never need to doubt your knowledge again, consider attending this workshop. It will change the way you do all your future core exercises: