Activate your core! We hear that a lot but what does it mean? Luckily, this month we have Physiotherapist and Pilates Instructor Nadine Hermann from Studio Realign who helped answer some burning questions all about the core.
What exactly is the core?
The core is not actually just one particular part of the body. It consists of abdominal and back muscles which are connected through their fibres and fascia, and with the gluteal muscles, hip muscles, and shoulders. There are also deep core muscles, called multifidi muscles, which connect the vertebrates with each other. These muscles all have a direct influence on our stability.
“The body works in chains so we can not just train our abdominals in order to improve our posture for example. We have to train in a functional way because one region of our body can have an influence on the rest of our body.” – Nadine Hermann
Why is core stability so important?
A strong core is important not only during sport and exercise, but for everyday activities. It’s what we need to keep the spine stable during daily tasks. It helps with certain movements, for example, catching us when we trip, holding us in position when we need to keep our balance, and ensuring our posture is in place. A strong core also stabilizes the body during exercise, for example when climbing or swimming, it protects the body during contact sports, and it diminishes pressure on the spine during running.
What are the best ways to strengthen our core?
As a Pilates instructor, Nadine obviously advises Pilates! This kind of training is suitable for people who are just beginning their fitness journeys, as well as for the more seasoned athletes who are looking for another challenge. But Nadine also stresses that exercise should be fun. For some people that means walking their dog or going on a bike ride with their family. For others it’s sweating it out at a CrossFit box or running after and kicking a ball with ten of your best friends. Do something you like which works the whole body – this is what will really help you gain better core stability in the long run.
“Our bodies aren’t designed to sit on a chair all day long. We need to move and be active in a way that we enjoy. In my opinion the core wouldn’t be as much of a topic and problem in modern society if our jobs were less in a seated position, hobbies less in front of a screen and friendships less over the phone.” – Nadine Hermann
Nadine is a German Physiotherapist and Pilates instructor, educated in the Netherlands and Germany. She is also currently studying Osteopathy to increase her knowledge of the human body in order to better help her patients. In 2014 she opened Studio Realign where she offers Pilates lessons and physiotherapy sessions.