I am sure you have heard the word CORE, even if you are not into exercise, every media out there talks about it, it has been the hot word for a while, and I am obsessed with it. My fitness career started 15 years ago, and I just keep learning and adding to my interests and specialties. Personal Training and Yoga were my first loves, and nothing will replace it, but core is so powerful because it is the source of everything. I bring my Yoga mind and body technique to my Mat Pilates classes, because it should not be like a forceful, hard-core, cardio, get your aggression out workout, it is more like a martial art or a dance, the power is all within, but to the eye it looks like it flows smoothly with complete control. In Yoga and Pilates if you force, the body will get tense and defensive, accomplishing exactly the opposite of opening, relaxing, detoxifying, and strengthening.
From a personal trainer perspective the core is part of the form for working out each muscle group separately, that is where everything begins. From a dancer perspective, as well as Pilates on the reformer, you add the belly button to the spine activation and that locks you in place so you can really challenge yourself with range of motion. In Mat Pilates and Yoga it all depends, some poses are relaxed, so it is good to let the abdomen fill with breath while activating the pelvic floor, and not so much belly button to spine.
One of my male students told me that his Urologist explained that the pelvic floor activation is similar in men and women, when you stop your flow when you urinate, you feel the kegel for women and perineum for men activate, that is your pelvic floor muscle that should be activated when you do everything in life. It crunches you from the inside, and leaves your back alone, your back should never be involved, if you feel your back something is wrong, stop.
Since I started having babies, I over focused on my kegel and let go of the belly button to the spine for obvious reasons, I wanted my baby to grow, and my body to naturally do what it needed to accommodate. I realize now that it is even more important after having a baby to activate that belly button to spine as well as the kegel in order to help everything get back to where it was before baby. The following article talks about how over emphasizing the kegel is not good for posture, but like everything in life, although form and alignment is universal, everyone is different, so there really is not one way to do anything
My opinion is to activate the pelvic floor when you are in action, not 24/7, but when you are walking your dog, or picking up something heavy, and of course during exercise. Our core is working because otherwise we would fall, but it is not worked out unless you are activating it from within. You will protect the back and actively work out those abs that we all want so badly.
Excited to start with some cardio this morning,
I love classes, not really into solo workouts,
If you find what you like, then you have to squeeze it in,
Zumba here I come,