Core Strength Training.
Core Workouts and Strengthening Exercises.Core strength training is a term which has attracted a lot of media attention in recent years.
I believe that this is rightly so, as maintaining your core strength is a very important aspect to your overall health and fitness.
However, core exercises must target a lot more than just your stomach muscles!
The terms "core strength" and "abdominal strength" have come to mean the same thing in many core strength workouts that I have seen prescribed over the years.
This is incorrect!
Your "core" consists of your abdominal muscles, back muscles and pelvic muscles. Furthermore, you have a deep core system which involves the small deep muscles of your spine and you have a superficial core system which involves your wider more superficial muscles.
Good core strength training requires you to understand these two muscle systems. Once you understand them you must then use them in conjunction with each other in a well-designed core strength programme that has been designed for your individual ability and needs.
When your core muscle system is trained and working correctly it will stabilize your spine, pelvis and shoulder girdle areas and provide a solid base of support for your movement patterns and joints. Put simply, our body parts were designed to be in specific positions and to move in very specific ways.
Let's have a look at this "design" in a little more detail. With bad posture, as well as injury, we can lose the correct position of our body parts. As a result we put too much pressure on certain parts of our bodies - and not enough on other parts.
This is a very common cause of back and neck pain and stiffness. In fact, I have never treated a back pain patient who had good posture! If an incorrect posture is left for too long serious conditions can occur such as disc prolapses and osteoarthritis.
Posture and core strength training are the basis of my own physiotherapy practice. My interest started some years ago when I noticed that my clients were getting great results most of the time - but they were returning with the same back and neck problems again 1-2 years later!
Why? - I asked myself!
The answer was that their underlying posture and core strength was the cause of their pain. In response, I developed a core strength training class to help them resolve their postural habits. Thankfully, it worked and I now have 16 Pilates classes a week running at my practice to help people resolve their poor movement patterns through postural correction and core strength training.
However - I would still alert you to the fact that core strength training - when taught incorrectly - can do more harm than good. Too often I see clients who have been doing core strength or Pilates that has worsened their posture and pain. Your programme must be specific to you and your pain. I insist on doing an hour session one-on-one with my clients before they join our classes. This allows me to assess your core muscles and posture in detail - and to allow me to teach you the correct exercises in class for your individual presentation.
If you have back pain I advise that you do your training with a well qualified chartered Physiotherapist or physical therapist that has an expertise in this area. If you are healthy, and well, with no back pain - a well-trained fitness instructor will be adequate for your needs once they are also well-trained in core workouts.
Ask them what courses they have done and dont expect a 2 day core strength training course to be adequate for the management of your health! Once you have worked correctly on your core strength - you will both stand and move more efficiently. You will feel taller and stronger. What are you waiting for!!
An efficient core muscle system will help prevent injury, balance your energy, and reduce pain and tiredness in your body. A strong core distributes the pressure of any weight bearing exercises and thus protects your back. However, core strength training exercises need to target all the core muscles and to target them correctly!
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Further References:Discover the History and Benefits of Pilates
What Pilates Equipment should you use?
What should you look for in a Pilates Class?
Choosing Yoga vs Pilates for back pain relief.
How useful is Pilates During Pregnancy?
Have a look at some Pilates Sample Exercises
Back Pain Overview
Back Pain Products
Back Pain Types
Back Pain Management
Specific Back Pain
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