Are you doing them right?
Core Stability Exercise Mistakes
Core stability exercises if performed correctly can be life changing.
Core stability exercises if performed incorrectly can be perceived as boring and pointless.
So why exactly are they so difficult to grasp?
Many of us lack body awareness about the positions our bodies adopt.
Often it is not until we feel aches and pains that we recognise bad posture habits creeping in. A lack of body movement or possibly previous injury can be the cause for many of these symptoms.
When we remain still and static we become stiff.
Our bodies were designed as vessels to function and move.
Movement provides nourishment that our bodies need.
So why is it a lot of us have long periods of inactivity in our day where we find ourselves static?
It’s the nature of the current fast paced socially accepted normal 9 -5pm office type jobs a lot of us have. For those in more active roles, often awkward positions and postures are sustained for lengthy times which build up to raise stress and strain on our muscles, ligaments and joints.
Learning to love and know your core stability muscles helps you to reconnect with your BODY AWARENESS.
You learn to feel the movements and positions of your body and recognise bad movement patterns and correct them as they occur. This is like a form of GOLDEN liquid that is the elixir for improved postural awareness, improved body confidence and body image, it boosts your self esteem and the list goes on.
The reason most of us struggle to engage and use our core muscles is because we can’t find them, can’t feel them and so we don’t engage them.
If you fall into the above description its likely in the past you may have been taught exercises in a position that just wasn’t helpful to let your mind and body CONNECT.
Classically Pilates core stability exercises are taught lying down on our backs with are knees bent, feet flat on the floor. This is known as the REST position.
It’s a great position for keeping the low back in a good neutral spine posture and offloading our nervous system BUT its hard to feel your abdominals because they are now resting on top of your spine!
When we refer to our core stability muscles here we are referring to our pelvic floor and lower tummy muscles activity.
So, FIVE common mistakes people classically make during core stability exercises are…
1. PELVIS ROCKING: Moving the pelvis forwards and backwards to activate your core stability muscles.
Your pelvis should remain still during this action and the lower tummy/pelvic floor muscles should be active and drawing in. Moving the pelvis means you are not engaging your core muscles correctly.
2. BUTTOCK SQUEEZING: Another classic misinterpreted pelvic floor exercise.
During pelvic floor exercises we should be feeling the insides of our back and front passages squeezing closed whilst the buttocks remain relaxed. If you are bouncing up and down on your bottom you are working your gluts and not your core muscles.
3. PELVIS TIPPING: During Pilates exercises your pelvis should remain level like a see-saw.
If it tips from left to right and vice versa then your core muscles are definitely not working correctly. When they are working properly their role is to stabilise the pelvis and keep it still.
4. CAN’T FEEL YOUR CORE STABILITY MUSCLES: It’s that vacant look on peoples faces that gives this one away.
Chances are if you can’t feel it, you aren’t working them! In the rest position this is often extremely difficult for a beginner to feel their core stability muscles working. Exercising in different positions will help you to progress onto this position in future.
5. OVERWORKING YOUR CORE STABILITY MUSCLES OR CRAMP IN OTHER MUSCLES: Often people try so hard to engage their core muscles that they get cramp in another muscle that is trying to help you out.
Muscle cramp is a sign of over active muscles and often this is not felt in the pelvic floor/lower tummy region. Your core muscles are postural “background” low humming muscles that are designed to work at 30% and not 100%. Therefore , it is essential we don’t activate them all the time at 100% because the chances are other muscles in your body will try and compensate.
To make it easier on yourself to learn to love these muscles – first you need to find them and acquaint yourselves with one another once more in a position that engages your BODY and MIND.
This is crucial to allow you to progress onto the other postural positions that are classically taught in a Pilates class.
Practise makes perfect and this isn’t an overnight fix unfortunately.
You have to work to reap the reward!
If you would like to learn more about how to set your core stability muscles correctly and be confident that you are in fact working yours and waking them up you will be excited to hear that I have written my first online course named CONFIDENT CORE which you can find out more information about it <<<here>>>.
Here’s to a golden future of working your core muscles to give you the strength and stability your spine requires and needs, ensuring you’re not making any common Core Stability Exercise Mistakes!