Getting to the Core

What does it mean to get to the core of something? What does it have to do with fitness? If you have ever taken an exercise class, you have most likely worked on your core. But what is the core? What does that word mean?

I began thinking about how the term is used in other areas. For instance, there’s the core of an apple. You have to take core classes at university before you move on to the electives. The core of the argument for core classes is that it gives students a core of understanding upon which to build more specific knowledge.

In short, the definition of core in the Mirriam-Webster dictionary is:

1. a central and often foundational part usually distinct from the enveloping part by a difference in nature
2. a basic, essential, or enduring part

So, getting to the core of the argument, for example, means to get to the the most essential primary point of the argument. What we refer to as the “core” of our bodies is the central, foundational part. It is the most essential part of our bodies for physical movement.

The core is comprised of the abdominal area including the ribs, the sides, and the back. It also includes the hips, pelvis, pelvic floor, and buttocks. There are 29 muscles in the core, and they are used to transfer all movement from the upper body to the lower body (walking). They also stabilize us to prevent falling (balance) and help us stand upright (posture). Because a strong core is so important for movements we make in an upright (standing) position, it only makes sense that standing core exercises are extremely beneficial. It’s not all about lying on a mat and doing a hundred crunches!

By strengthening and working with our core muscles, we keep the body in proper alignment to avoid pain, and we also build strong bones in the spine and hips. Core strength, as you can see, is essential for everyday living, whether it’s picking up a child, putting away groceries or simple standing still. And let’s not forget the added bonus of a slimmer waistline and how good that looks!

That’s why working on core strength should be a core part of your workout!

Here are some PraiseMoves postures that I incorporate into my classes to build core strength. Some might not seem like core exercises, but anything that requires your core to engage (for twisting, balancing, leaning back, etc.) will strengthen the muscles. See photos of most of these postures here.

1. The Altar (like a plank)
2. Rock Runner (like mountain climbers)
3. The Cross (see photo)
4. Pulling Up the Flaps (like a bird dog)
5. The Prize (see photo)
6. Fountain (see photo)
7. Advanced Angel (see photo)
8. Sent Word (see photo)
9. Heavenly Heritage (see photo)
10. Seraphim (see photo)

These represent only a small sample of the many PraiseMoves postures that build a strong core. In class we add an extra challenge by speaking the accompanying verse while holding the posture correctly and breathing.

Learn more about the importance of core strengthening in the links below, and consider taking a private PraiseMoves class with me over Skype!

Resources:

https://www.acefitness.org/blog/5922/improve-spine-health-with-these-core-strengthening
https://www.acefitness.org/blog/4834/why-you-should-train-the-core-standing-up

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