Q: “What are core muscles, and how can I use them properly?”

A: Many people have different definitions of what ‘core’ muscles are. If you go to the gym you are probably familiar with how to exercise the big core muscles around your trunk, i.e. your Abs and Erector Spinae (Back) muscles. However, most people completely neglect the deeper stabilising muscles which are arguably more important! Without being able to activate these muscles properly you are leaving yourself at risk of injury and holding yourself back from reaching your full physical potential.

Inner Core Muscles

In 3 simple steps I am going to teach you how to activate the two most important and most neglected core muscles. The two muscles that you need to PRACTICE and use EVERYDAY are called Transversus Abdominis and your Pelvic Floor muscles. Here are some steps to get them working:

1. To engage Transverus Abdominis, gently suck your belly button back towards your spine. You don’t need to go as hard as you can! Aim to pull it in at 30% of your maximum. Hold for 10 seconds.

2. To engage your Pelvic Floor muscles, tighten the muscles that you would use to cut off your flow mid-stream on the toilet. Again, contract gently at 30%, and try and hold for 10 seconds.

3. Here comes the harder part. Now you must hold these contractions at the same time. That is, gently suck in your belly, and gently stop your flow at 30% of your maximum. Hold for 10 seconds. These contractions should be done while you are continuing to breathe, so make sure you aren’t holding your breath!

These muscle contraction are important for EVERYONE in order to prevent back pain and keep good posture. Do you want to know if you are activating your core correctly? Call us now on 3880 1649 to book a FREE core assessment.

For more information on activating your core muscles and properly fixing your injury, call  Scarborough Physiotherapy on 3880 1649. Private health insurance rebates are available on all services; including physiotherapy, orthotics, Pilates, massage and Psychology. To have your question answered in an upcoming issue of My Town, please email [email protected], or leave a message on our Facebook wall.

– Mitch Hamer, BPhty, APAM

Note: this article appeared in the 13th edition of Redcliffe’s own digital interactive My Town Magazine. Links to this article and other editions can be found at http://www.all-inpublications.com.au/