Your core or centre of the body consists of deep abdominal (Transverse Abdominis - TA), pelvic floor muscles along with the muscles closest to spine (Multifidus and back extensors). The core abdominal muscles are the deepest of your layered abdominal muscles that wrap around your trunk like a corset.
A strong core is the fundamental starting point of movement for any type of exercise and daily activity as it allows effective recruitment of muscles and supports the pelvis and spine. Good posture is essential for core activation and involves gentle maintained deep abdominal contractions. Pilates is an ideal type of exercise to learn how to engage your Transverse Abdominis properly during exercise to strengthen your core unit.
HOW TO FIND NEUTRAL ALIGNMENT AND ACTIVATE CORE MUSCLES:
Place your forefingers and thumbs in a diamond shape on lower abdominal at the inside of your pelvic bones, tilt hipbones to c-curve lower-back and then to arch lower-back, now find a neutral pelvis position between these two extremes, where all 3 curves of the spine - cervical (neck), - thoracic (middle) and - lumbar (lower) are in good and natural alignment. Then zip-up from your pelvic floor muscles through lower abdominal to support the spine, while engaging your TA to feel a gentle tightness and flatness in the corset-like muscles wrapping around your body.
Knowing how to correctly activate and strengthen your deep core is very important in PREPARING your body for PREGNANCY, to be able to exercise correctly and safely DURING PREGNANCY to limit conditions like Diastasis Recti (separation of abdominals) and assist with POSTNATAL recovery.
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