Pilates and the core.
In Pilates you here a lot about the ‘core’ but what exactly is it? To be technical about it is a combination of the transversus abdominus, pelvic floor and a deep back muscle called the multifidus.
These combine to form a natural corset around us, or a girdle of strength around us so that movement can occur easily and smoothly. When these muscles become weak that is when we get injuries because other muscles try to take over e.g. we strain muscles in our shoulder when reaching for something, or muscles in the back when lifting or bending.
These muscles which form this ‘girdle of strength’ are always in use and so we must focus on strengthening those more than any other muscles. This is why Pilates is so focused on the core. It forms the basis of everything we do. If these muscles are not strong enough other muscles will end up performing actions that they are not designed for and hence we get injured and suffer pain.
Pilates helps to create balance in the body so that all muscles can perform the duties they were designed for. All the groups of muscles work in synergy and joints are held in their most favourable position. When joints move from their optimum position with good muscle recruitment and the stabilising muscles working correctly, there is going to be minimal wear and tear on the joints. Good input is received by the brain and is locked into the memory banks.