What’s going on with your core? The body less the dangly bits hanging of it – arms, legs, and head. Sometimes we refer to the core as the pillar of the body. If there is something wrong with a building pillar eventually the building may become inhabitable. Similarly with our bodies, if we have problems with our pillar eventually we may have trouble carrying out everyday activities such as standing, walking, sitting and lifting loads. Here are 5 tips to help wake up your core.
1. Ribs Down
Many of us have been taught to “stand up straight” by thrusting our shoulders back and our chest forward. This distorts the natural spine curvature and compresses vertebrae. The natural aligned position requires you to drop your ribs so the front of the bottom rib is in the same plane as the Anterior Superior Iliac Spine (ASIS). The ASIS is what many of us refer to as our hip bones. Practise bringing your lower ribs and the front of your hip bones into alignment.
2. Do the Twist
Twists are great for getting into our obliques (side abs) and most importantly improving our core suppleness (the ability to bend and twist easily). Also twists are great for digestion, detoxing and heart health.
3. Challenge Your Body
If you spend most of your time not moving then when you come to challenge your body your muscles may not be strong enough to handle the infrequent load. So seeking more opportunities to functionally load your body throughout the day will wake up your core and improve performance.
4. Walk More
Walking actually incorporates more than the lower body. Walking requires the activation of core muscles such as the psoas muscles and the gluteus muscles in the butt. Also as you shift weight from one foot to the other your hips, abs, waist, back, spine and the associated muscles are engaged. Moving throughout the day by walking and standing wakes up your core.
Core strength and joint stability are important for balance. We do not realise how dependent we are on balance for everyday activities. For instance, did you know that balance is an important part of walking? We spend 60 percent of walking time balanced on one foot. Balance and stability training can be achieved through activities including yoga, Pilates, and tai chi.