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How to engage your core during any type of exercise!💪🏽

You’ve all probably heard the phrase ‘engage your core’ and when prompted you may just suck in your stomach and hope that does the job! But is that actually helping? Maybe… but maybe not.

If you think of a car and how strong the cars frame work has to be to withstand external forces to protect people inside, such as wind, rain and even other cars! It’s essential for that frame work to be strong and well-built for that structural stability and security.

Similarly, a strong core stabilises your body and allowing you to resist external weight when performing exercises and simple daily tasks.

This means if your core is not strong, you might not be as strong as you think, here is what you need to know about engaging your core properly and why it’s crucial for overall well-being.

What is your core?

When you engage your core you are contracting muscles within your midsection to stabilise your body and support your spine and pelvis, notice how I didn’t just say ‘abs’, your abdominals are just one part of your core, not the whole picture.

Some good cues to remember while trying to engage your core are:

  • Imagine bracing yourself before someone punches you in the stomach.

  • Give your body a gentle hug from the inside.

  • Place your hands on your stomach, now try to expand your stomach to push your hands away.

  • Draw your belly button in towards your spine, bracing your core to feel those muscle activate.

Trying a few of these examples is a good step forward to understanding the concept of how to engage your core and know what it feels like.

What are the benefits of engaging your core?

The muscles deep with in your torso act as your body’s natural corset, providing support and keeping everything secured.

Benefits are:

  • It improves posture and balance

  • Aids exercise effectiveness

  • Reduces back pain

  • Makes you stronger

  • Strengthens pelvic floor

When should you engage your core?

It’s absolutely essential to engage your core to protect your spine and improve your posture/form during exercise or activity of any kind. If you experience any lower back pain or unsteadiness/weak, it’s most likely your core is not engaged or needs strengthening.

These exercises can be as simple as walking, picking up children, gardening etc..

Or as intense as weight lifting, tennis or skiing.

Moral of the story, your core should always be engaged in any type of activity/movement.

10 exercises that target your core:

  • Bird-dog

  • Plank

  • Russian twists

  • Hip Thrusts

  • Standing marches

  • Suitcase deadlift

  • Side plank

  • Cable crunches

  • Side plank

  • Glute bridges

Everyone needs to focus on core

Ideally you should be engaging your core while doing your typical workouts and then adding core-strengthening exercises alongside.

Core exercises might not be the most exciting activity but it will pay off if you stick with it!

Any questions please feel free to message!

Coach Lucy x

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