Think about your core as the connecting chain to your upper and lower body. Everything originates from your core - bending, twisting, sitting and even standing. A weak core means that these movements may not come as easy and in fact the arms and legs may not function to their optimal which can lead to chronic pain, particularly in your back.
A strong core can also help improve your balance and stability. This will inevitably reduce the likelihood of falls or injuries during sports.
When we talk ‘core’, especially in Pilates, we don’t just mean your abdominal and deep core muscles. We are also talking about your gluteal and lower back muscles. They all connect to form your ‘power house’ mid section. Here’s just a few reasons why strengthening your core is a must;
- A happy healthy back - you need strong abdominals to support your back muscles. Studies show that 8 out of 10 people experience lower back pain. It can be debilitating. A strong core will mean a strong back and a healthy spine
- Improve sports specific performance - there’s a good reason that your core is often referred to as your powerhouse. A strong core will allow athletes to execute more powerful and controlled movements during performance
- Strong and confident posture - your core muscles contribute to good posture making you look and feel taller, leaner and improving your confidence. Good posture in turn, allows you to breathe more easily with an open chest and pathway for the air to move freely
- Aesthetically pleasing - coupled with a healthy diet, a strong core will help you to work towards the toned midsection we all strive for. One piece of feedback we hear from our clients time and time again is that Pilates has changed the shape of their body! They feel stronger and notice their clothes fitting better around the waistline
Reformer Pilates is perfect to address core weaknesses or imbalances, as all exercises focus on this central point first and foremost, no matter what movement we're practicing.
Benefitting from a focus on core strength is certainly something our founder, Emma, can attest to. Reformer Pilates has helped her to strengthen her core and reduce the back pain she experiences since the birth of both her boys.
Love working on your core - but aren't quite getting the ab burn you'd expect? Read this blog post to see if one, or more, of these could be the reason why!