The core is so much more than just having abs.
As the center of your body, the core plays an integral part in how you move & function in your daily life.
The core has 2 main functions:
1. To protect the spine from excessive load
2. Transfer force when you move from the lower body to the upper body & vice versa
Injuries, especially back injuries are usually the result of repeated excessive load bearing with bad mechanics.
So, it is important to create 360 degrees of stability around the spine (using your core) when you are lifting objects, switching positions, walking, running, jumping & every movement between.
What muscles does the core include?
- Muscles that stabilize the hips
- Muscles that make up the entire torso - front, back & sides
- Muscles that stabilize the shoulders
The human core is similar to an animal's torso.
Movement of the arms, legs or tail is completely determined by what is occurring in the trunk area.
Picture a dog with a tail. It’s not the tail wagging the dog. It’s the dog’s torso/trunk wagging the tail.
Your core is the foundation for your POSTURE, BALANCE & the MOVEMENT of your entire body.
Training the core to STABILIZE means teaching your core muscles how to hold your spine, pelvis & shoulders in an alignment that allows for SAFE MOVEMENT.
This is why core stability is one of the most important things to train when you exercise.
When your core muscles know how to stabilize:
👉🏼 Your posture is better
👉🏼 Your body has better balance & support - which often leads to less joint pain
👉🏼 Your movement can be more efficient & powerful
👉🏼 You move safer & with less chance of injury
And though you may desire to have flatter abs, having a 6-pack only means that 1 muscle of the core (the outermost layer) is toned & it does NOT mean the rest of the core muscles are functioning supportively.
All the muscles that work to stabilize the core is a subject for another blog post. Today, my intention is to keep this simple & focused on stability.
CORE STABILITY is defined as: the capacity of the muscles of the torso to assist in the maintenance of good posture & balance, especially during movement.
For posture, core stability looks & feels like:
👉🏼 Aligning the rib cage over the pelvis & supporting the spine to be long. So, every movement you take - whether that is taking a step or reaching up to a top shelf in the cupboard - is GENERATED FROM THE CORE.
Try this Simple Exercise to Improve Core Stability
In a seated position, place your hands on your hips.
Imagine your pelvis is like a bowl of cereal. Make sure your pelvic bowl is not spilling cereal forward or back or off to the right or left. Organize your pelvis, so you feel your sitting bones pressing into the chair evenly, so your pelvic bowl is in an upright position.
Now, bring your hands to the sides of your rib cage. Without disrupting the pelvis, organize the ribs so they are vertically stacked over the pelvis - not flaring open to the front.
Now, place your hands on the sides of your trunk, in the space between your ribs & hips on each side of your body. Take a breath into the sides of the ribs & as you exhale feel the sides of your waist drawing in like a corset wrapping around the trunk.
It should feel like a wrapping or hugging sensation, not gripping or clenching.
Inhale into the rib cage, so you can exhale & allow the core muscles to wrap & hug, keeping the rib cage aligned over the pelvis.
When we are trying to balance on one leg, the same idea applies. Connecting with these muscles that wrap & hug to keep the ribs & pelvis in alignment.
When we move our body, we want to learn how to connect with the core before we move. Next time you take a walk, focus on keeping the ribs over pelvis alignment with every step you take. Focus on your breathing as you walk & coordinate your steps with your breath.
Maintaining a center of gravity through core stability is not only important for our physical health, it is also helpful for our mental & emotional stability as well.
When we are connected to our core stability, we feel more secure & safe.
Our bodies feel more DURABLE, DEPENDABLE & RELIABLE.
When we feel this strength on the inside of our bodies, it makes it so much easier to focus, to vocalize what we need, to set healthy boundaries & to connect with others.
Just like a tree, with our sturdy trunk we are rooted & therefore we feel the courage to grow our branches & share our gifts with the world.
Hi, I’m Jessi!
For the past 10 years, I’ve been helping people of all ages & fitness levels reframe their relationship with movement. As a Holistic Fitness Trainer, I not only train people’s bodies, I also help them adopt mindsets & habits that fuel consistent mental well being & physical vitality.
My goal is to provide accessible health & fitness tools in a welcoming space. There is no one-size-fits-all approach - but, there are building blocks that we all can use to create stability & awareness that will help us function with strength & confidence.
As a college athlete & an active go-getter, I’ve had to navigate my way through several major injuries, crippling anxiety & back pain. Part of my journey is to share the techniques that have helped me rehab my body & minimize the occurrence of fatigue or burn-out.
Movement is an essential therapy to help the human psyche manage the stresses of life. I am here to help you find what works for your body & your lifestyle, so you can reduce pain & feel motivated to move more consistently.
My coaching style focuses on strong foundations of body awareness & stabilization. I combine techniques from Yoga, Pilates, Strength Training, Massage Therapy & Mindfulness to craft well thought out, customized training plans to support your human experience. To read more about me, click here.
Looking for tools to improve your CORE STABILITY & INNER STRENGTH?
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