What Is Core Strength?

Core strength is a term that gets a lot of attention these days. Everybody wants a “strong core” but the popular definition of the core being abdominal muscles is very limiting and incorrect.

The definition of the word core is the central, innermost or most essential part of anything.

Using that definition of the word core and adding strength to it, then core strength comes from the central and innermost part of the body…and is essential!

In the original pilates method we consider the pelvis to be the centre of all movement and functional posture and is the foundation for developing strength in the entire trunk.

Think of the trunk as a tin can with the pelvis the bottom, ribcage the top and sides and the spine the back.   

All the muscles that control these bones are the essential muscles of the core and include breathing muscles, the pelvic floor, the spine muscles, the psoas muscle, and the abdominal muscles.

Joseph Pilates talked about complete coordination and conscious control of your muscles and pilates core strength is the complete coordination of these innermost muscles of the trunk.

You can have the strongest abdominal muscles on the planet yet still experience postural imbalances and even back pain if the rest of the core muscles have been ignored.

Once the trunk muscles are doing their job, then the movement of the legs and arms have a a stable and strong base to move from.

Core strength isn’t the end point, it’s the foundation for functional movement.

You definitely need arm and leg strength to perform everyday tasks like climbing stairs, carrying groceries or housework. But the power and strength generated from the trunk will make the task easier and limit the vulnerability of potential injury of the hip and shoulder joint.

And with the aging process, the potential for injury to the shoulder, hip and leg and arm joints increases with the natural loss of collagen which leads to joint degeneration.

Core strength is so much more than strong abs.

Functional posture that gives you complete freedom of movement without daily aches and pains.

Injury prevention that counteracts the effects of aging.

Power and strength to do all the activities you both need and love to do with as Joseph would say…with spontaneous zest and pleasure.

The original pilates method is designed to develop core strength from the deepest part of the body and always integrates postural integrity. It’s an exercise system and philosophy about healthy living and how to maximise the quality of your life.

And was developed about 100 years before the term core strength evolved.

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