"Engage your core"
”Engage your core!”
…. WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN!?
We’ve all heard it during a fitness class, personal training session, workout video, etc.
First thing’s first — do you know that the core is not just your abs?
This is something that many people don’t seem to be aware of, or often forget, but YES — the core is more than just abs!
Our core consists of stomach, back, and booty muscles, which help support our pelvis and spine. A strong core can improve posture, balance, and stability, and reduce risk of injury. Lower back injuries are very common, and are frequently linked to a weak core.
But back to the whole, “engage your core” dilemma, and what that even means…
Here’s the way I like to explain it:
Pull your belly button and spine in, toward each other. Think of it like your bracing for a punch to the gut - your stomach tightens up, but you also want to make sure don’t want to over commit, by rounding your shoulders forward (keep the shoulders back). Also, by gently tucking your hips under, you engage the glutes, which really helps stabilize the spine and reduce risk of lower back injury.
One of the biggest things I remind class participants and clients, is to KEEP BREATHING!
Often times, during exercise, but especially during core work, people hold their breath.
I get it - it took me awhile to break this habit, but I was able to do so by being intentional, and practicing it — yes, I practiced making sure I breathed! Sounds silly, but like any habit, it has to be learned and repeated.
Holding your breath actually makes things much harder!
*I think I just stumbled upon another blog subject, for the near future… importance of breathing during workouts. Look for that in one of my next few blogs)!
Anyway, Happy Friday! Hope you enjoy your weekend!