In this photo, core stability is required to do this pose. Can you tell if I have good core, though? Here is a little quiz to see if you know what good core is.
True or false:
- I have strong abs, and a flat tummy, so I have good core.
- Doing crunches will strengthen my core.
- I have good core, it's just the back pain that's the problem.
You can't actually tell if I have good core from looking at that photo. Just because core stability is required to do this pose, doesn't necessarily mean I have good core. I could be over-using the the global stabilizers (like upper obliques) or power muscles (like the lats) to compensate. Or holding my breath. Or gripping my way through it.
So, back to the quiz. All the answers are... false. Before we look at each one, it is important to note that as it relates to core stability, muscle functioning can be divided into 3 categories: inner core muscles, outer core (or global stabilizers) and power muscles. The aim is to have each category of muscles doing that which they are supposed to do.
Strong abs = core?
What about doing crunches?
So how do we gain core stability?
Remember to watch your breath - don't hold it! By practicing in this way, the overall feeling should move to lightness and ease. Or effortless effort.
Contrast that to gripping, bracing and holding the breath. THAT is good core. If this way of thinking resonates with you, please check out my group classes.