Often in our classes our teachers will refer to your core, your centre, your deep abdominals. So what the hell does that mean exactly?…
When I am training our teachers I refer to this as our Primary Core and often in Pilates we call it the Powerhouse. It is far deeper than your six pack muscles. At it’s deepest layer is the Transverse Abdomens, Multifidus, diaphragm and the Pelvic Floor.
I like to imagine it as a little house or corset for our abdominal organs and lumber spine.
These muscles are the very basis of all of your Pilates sessions. If you can wake up these babies you are going to get much more out of your work out, in fact, more out of life in general.
The good news is you don’t have to break a sweat to activate them. They are all about mindful movement. Take a moment in your next class to tune in before you move.
To activate your core try this.
Lay down on the Reformer (or in bed, I’m all about exercising in bed! ) Settle into a neutral spine as you Inhale relax your body. Exhale activate your pelvic floor by drawing the muscles between your sit bones pubic bone and tail bone together. Like a little diamond shape. As you do this keep your bottom muscles relaxed and make sure you don’t move your spine out of neutral. Inhale relax and release the muscles. Next exhalation activate your pelvic floor and draw your deep belly muscles in towards the centre of your body as though you are gently pulling a drawstring around your waist, pull your corset a little tighter. Make sure you continue to exhale as you do this. Your ribs should naturally move towards each other. Keep your bottom relaxed. Inhale let it all go.
Last exhalation activate pelvic floor, your corset and imagine your spine lengthening! You got it! Now try it on your side or on all fours better yet in plank!
Ask your teacher to guide you through connecting to your core before or after class and look out for our Getting to the core of Pilates workshop coming up in February to really get the most out of your classes.
Here is a little snap of those deep muscles, see how the wrap around like a little corset!