We’ve all heard of the term core stability but what is it really, why do we need it and are we doing the right exercises to target it?!
A lot of the time injuries to the lower back or hip can be traced back to a lack of true core stability. I recently asked a patient of mine to show me the “core exercises” they were doing to supplement their running training. What they showed me were ineffective and were actually a contributing factor to their injury!!
First off, your core stability does NOT just refer to your “six pack” and doing hundreds of sit ups or is not going to give you the perfect core (it does however have its place). Your core muscles refer to the deep back muscles, deep abdominals, pelvic floor, and diaphragm; I like to refer to this as your cylinder of support. These muscles are your postural muscles so are designed to be on a little bit, majority of the time. Your postural muscles work in co-ordination with the outer abdominal muscles (six pack muscle and obliques) which are designed for movements over a short period of time.
Being able to co-ordinate all of these muscles is important to providing a stable base of which our arms and legs work off. It also allows smooth and effective transfer of forces through the body when we are moving and therefore decreases our risk of injury. While everyone needs some level of core stability it is even important in athletes and dancers!
True core stability exercises are often quite tricky to do and are very easy to do wrong! Speaking to a someone such as a physiotherapist who understands the demands of your sport or dance style is so important! You may find that if you do have a niggling injury, addressing your core stability could help this and also improve your performance.
So become a master of your body and get that core firing!!