It’s Time to Stabilize!

Today’s post is about the functional importance of the core musculature.  Both, local stabilizers and global stabilizers, aid by keeping our spines stable and aligned and our core muscles tight throughout all of our movement patterns.  The core is our center of gravity (COG), the origin site of all our movements.  Specifically, the local stabilizers perform drawing-in maneuver and the global stabilizers perform bracing.

Drawing-In Maneuver

  • While maintaining the cervical spine (neck) in a neutral position, pull in the region just below the naval toward the spine.
  • To better visualize, lay down on your back and pretend you have a coin on your belly button and try to bring this coin towards the floor.
  • Scientifically speaking, when the transverse abdominis (deep core muscle) is activated, this muscle creates tension in the thoracolumbar fascia, which contributes to spinal stiffness, ultimately increasing stability.

Bracing

  • Co-contraction (or simultaneous contraction) of the global stabilizers (most importantly, rectus abdominis, external obliques, and quadratus lumborum).
  • In other words, “bearing down” or tightening these muscles by consciously contracting them at the same time.

* Both of these techniques can (and should)  be implemented into all of your core exercises.

* Always remember to engage your core muscles (local and global stabilizers), or think about your abs first, before any movement of your upper and lower extremities – Your core is your foundation, similar to the foundation of a house.

Please share your favorite core exercises, utilizing these concepts!  I look forward to learning about them, and sharing my exercises too!

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About rrluthi

Certified fitness expert with a passion for educating and empowering the 55 and better "chronologically-enriched" population about the benefits of adopting and maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle, preventing injury, and feeling good. Proven strengths applying cutting-edge fitness/wellness concepts and research through roles as a health coach, fitness trainer, and group exercise instructor—in addition to promoting these concepts in a more systematic way through blogging and social media, community outreach, public speaking, corporate wellness program facilitation and senior fitness program support.
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