Strengthening Core Muscles
By: Stephanie Ruopp
Does Strengthening Core Muscles through Pilates Build Overall Strength?
Yes. And here’s why.
A lot of people have it backward. They believe that just because they’re strong, they have a strong core. This is often not the case.
If you think of your musculature as a large chain, then your core muscles are the vital central link that connects the upper body with the lower body. ALL motion in your body either originates in those muscles, or moves through them.
As that motion moves up and down along those links of the chain, it relies on a strong link at the center. If your core is weak, it’s going to impact how well the rest of your body moves. Weakness in that area will pull power from those movements – making it difficult to build strength there.
So while “fitness warriors” are focusing on rippling 6-pack abs, they’re really only working the surface core muscles. Which is a good start. But strengthening core muscles through Pilates focuses on all the core muscles.
What Are the Muscles of the Core?
The deepest layer of abdominal muscles are often considered the most important when it comes to overall strength.
The transverse abdominis is the deepest muscle and it helps to stabilize your pelvis and spine. Deep, but off to the side, are two layers of oblique muscles. These control lateral flexion – such as you do when you side bend – and rotation.
Finally, the “six-pack” muscle is actually called the rectus abdominis. It runs vertically in front of your abdomen and flexes your torso forward. Hence, the thousands of crunches you do to get it chiseled.
But the core is comprised of more than just the above abdominal muscles. You have even more muscles in the pelvic floor and back that stabilize the spine. And then there’s the diaphragm – the primary muscle used for breathing.
Pilates addresses all of these muscles, as well as breath, to strengthen your entire core. And this is important in building overall strength.
A Strong Core Makes Most Physical Activities Easier
Everything you do, from sitting at your desk to getting a plate from the cupboard to pulling on your pants uses core muscles. The stronger your core, the easier it will be do any physical activity.
This is especially important for physical activities that are more demanding, such as those required for playing sports or for jobs that are extremely physical in nature.
As we mentioned earlier, a weak core is going to cause other stronger muscles in your body to overcompensate. This lessens endurance, and leads to fatigue and potential injuries.
When muscles don’t have to work over time and can work in harmony with a strong core, there is more opportunity to build strength.
Highly skilled Pilates experts understand this.
That’s why the core exercises in Pilates train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work in that harmony. And as an added bonus, they also lead to better balance and stability.
With improved balance and more stability, you can continue to strengthen the other muscles in your body with confidence.
Ready to Start Strengthening Core Muscles through Pilates?
Attaining overall strength is all about working from the inside out. It starts deep inside with those core muscles.
That’s why strengthening core muscles through Pilates is the ideal place to begin. Through expert guidance, you’ll work those deeper core muscles to develop your stability.
As you continue to build strength, you’ll notice how much easier it is to move through your day – as well as take part in the more rigorous activities you enjoy.
The best benefit of all?
You’ll feel great too.