Why do we need to strengthen the ‘core’ and why is it so important?
Most people think that the ‘CORE’ is just your tummy muscles, but it includes all the muscles from the shoulders down to the hips. All these muscles help to stabilise, strengthen and mobilise your body.
Essentially, the whole point of core strength isn’t to have six pack abdominals—it’s to stabilise your spine and protect your back from injury. Many people use or think that sit-ups and crunches will do this job, however they will never give you the functional strength you need.
Building core strength will help bring balance to the front and back of your body. Sitting at a desk all day doesn’t help, either. Not being mindful of how we’re sitting, and not engaging our core, can lead to things like compressed discs in our spine. Often the side effect of over strong back and weak abdominals can be BACK PAIN.
Many people make the mistake of sitting for long periods with a tilted pelvis and a slouched back, rather than sitting tall on their “sit bones” (think about the boney part of your bum pointing straight down).
To work your core at the office, try sitting on a stability ball rather than a traditional chair, because the sense of instability and the movement it creates forces your abdomen to stay engaged.
Pilates exercises will help you to regain the balance in your posture and therefore strengthen your essential core muscles.