How many times have you decided to start out on a new exercise routine with the goal of 'better abs' or a 'six pack'?
Having a more defined waist, flatter stomach and a 'toned' body is a common point of conversation- particularly at this time of year. In an effort to reach these goals, many people hit the gym to do endless planks and crunches. While these exercises have their place, there are much safer,not to mention, more effective exercises out there.
That's where pilates comes in.
In your day-to-day life, most movement starts at the centre and moves outwards, so aside from making you feel more comfortable in your 'summer body', building a strong core can also provide you with long term health benefits:
Help prevent injuries by stabilising your body, improving your overall fitness and making you less prone to injury.
Decrease occurrences of back pain and reverse the effects of our sedentary lifestyles.
Protects your central nervous system by strengthening the parts of the body that protect your inner organs and nervous system.
What does it mean for my body if I have weak Abs?
Your abs are the anchor of your spine. If they are weak, other parts of your body (ie. your back muscles) have to work harder to support you. Ongoing misuse of the wrong muscles can lead to poor posture, upper AND lower back pain, and ultimately poor quality of life. In summary:
Weak abs = constantly painful movement.
Your abdominals provide protection against wear of your back muscles and lumbar disks. By promoting proper posture, you control the curve of your spine and limit the chance of injury.
So how do I help myself?
Back pain is a complex issue, but there are many simple things that you can do to help prevent it.
A regular exercise regime that promotes abdominal and back strengthening will help you develop a stronger and more flexible back. A discipline such as Pilates helps to teach you the correct core–control techniques that result in improved general function and reduced back pain.
Being mindful of your posture and alignment will help keep your core engaged and prevent slouching and slumping, which is a common cause of damage to the spine and pain in the upper and lower back.
At Ideal Physiotherapy, we welcome the chance to help you make a difference to your body. We will work with you to create a fitness routine that suits your unique needs. Our classes have capped sizes to ensure that you have the attention you need to help you feel great and maintain a strong core for more than just the aesthetics.
You can book your initial assessment and 1-1 session by visiting our website here.