Pilates Principle: Centering

 

We hear it all the time…you need core strengthening.  If there is one thing that everyone knows about Pilates, it is that it is good for improving core strength.  Joseph Pilates called the core the “Powerhouse”.  It is the area between the lower ribs and the pubic bone.  In Pilates, the focus begins with this center of the body.  Many people think the “core” means the abs. The concept of the core is a somewhat more complex.  First and foremost, it is important to learn to recruit the deep stabilizers (pelvic floor, transversus abdominus and multifidi).  This is called the local system.  As Physical Therapists, we spend a lot of time working with patients on how to correctly engage these deep stabilizers.  Once you learn how to find these muscles, you can learn how breathing actually works in conjunction with engaging these muscles.  From there, you can progress to more advanced exercises.  I find that many clients skip right to the more advanced exercises and never learn how to properly recruit their deeper muscles.  Maybe their back pain does not improve or they get injured with exercises?  By learning to correctly engage the core, one can use this understanding to carry over into other aspects of their daily life.  With the engagement of the core, your posture, balance and movements will improve.  In everyday life, you will sit, stand, walk, lift, push, pull with the ability to use these super important muscles to protect your spine.

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