WHEN it comes to understanding your body it can be difficult.
So to make the understanding of the core easier I am going to compare it to a Tin can…
Let me explain…
The top of the can is like the DIAPHRAGM because it’s a dome sheet of muscle that plays a huge role in the breathing process. It’s highly important because it’s the bit that separates the chest from the abdomen.
When you breathe in the diaphragm expands until it’s flat, and when we breathe out it pushes up into the rib cavity, pushing the lungs.
This is why it’s incredibly important to breathe correctly when you’re exercising (hence why your Pilates teacher will instruct about the correct way to breathe)
In your Pilates lesson, you will be taught and encouraged to do breath into your rib cage (lateral breathing), as appose to breathing into your chest and down into the stomach.
If you breathe correctly whilst exercising it will help your diaphragm expand and contract properly, which will work with all of your other core muscles.
The back and the front sides of the can are compared to the TRANSVERSUS ABDOMINIS AND MULTIFIDUS MUSCLE.
The Transverses muscle wraps around your body, from one hipbone to another. It stabilizes the pelvis and lower back prior to movement of the body. When you draw your abdominals inwards it’s activated.
The multifidus muscle is in the back and it works by taking pressure off the discs, which are located in the spine. Its purpose is to help distribute body weight along the spine and keep it straight and stable.
The base of the can is the PELVIC FLOOR muscle, which acts as a muscular hammock between your legs and keeps all your internal organs in place. For instance, it helps to keep the bladder functioning and controlling your bowels. For these reasons, it’s an extremely important muscle. The pelvic floor is activated when you switch on your transverses abdominis as the pelvic floor and transversus ‘co- contract’. Meaning that when your pelvic floor is activated your core is working, and if you contract your core then your pelvic floor is also switched on.
SO WHAT DO WE USE THEM FOR?
The core muscles are important because they create stability for your pelvis and protect it- keeping the spine strong. When all the muscles work together they gently squeeze together to support the spine.
The core prevents excessive forces from spine movements and helps to prevent painful injuries such as a slipped disc.
If you have good core stability then your movements will become more efficient and you will have a better posture.
So remember… breath correctly and you will reap the benefits!