Pelvic Floor: Core Importance

How important is core importance? How important is it to use your core properly? Our Core Importance is SUPER IMPORTANT!

Too Many Obliques

We typically overuse our obliques and underuse our transverse abdominis muscle. The way our clients are engaging and working their core needs to be changed! They are pooching, bulging and losing control of their deep abdominal support muscles! They are  gripping and clenching through their bigger, global abdominal muscles.

Is it that Bad?

Why is this so bad? Think of it this way…we call a lot of the exercises we do, “core stability exercises”. This implies that the core muscles are stabilizing ‘something’. But, when we see a whole lot of movement through our clients’ midsection, what are they exactly stabilizing? We see a lot of work being done through their abdominals, but they aren’t getting as much out of the work as they could be. When doing a single bent knee lift when lying supine, the distance between the ASIS and the lower front rib, really should stay the same. I see too much movement through the lumbar spine and pelvis and people are not including their breathing.

What are People Doing?

A lot of women tell me about the problem they are having with their lower bellies. It still has a pooched out sort of look to it. Even though they are working sooooo hard with all of their ‘core’ exercises, they are frustrated! When I check if their lower belly is actually participating at all, almost every single time, it is not. The upper abdominals are doing all the work. The transverse abs through the lower belly section is, how shall I say, sleeping.

Another example is when I see very fit women who just want me to confirm that their pelvic floor is strong. They are very lean, very strong women who are working super hard in their workouts. But, when I check the pelvic floor, there is little to nothing happening. Its not automatic for them to include their pelvic floor muscles during at least part of their work outs. I always encourage my clients to integrate their pelvic floor muscles into at least part of their daily workouts.  This must include both the release and the contraction of the pelvic floor muscles.

The message I want to get out is “Its not the exercise but rather how we do the exercise” that will make the difference. Breath, pelvic floor and transverse abs all need to work together!

Watch the video below and notice how much the internal oblique muscle is overpowering the transverse abs. Our clients are doing a lot of this. Even with a simple head lift, the transverse abs become obliterated and its all internal obliques doing the work. With such a simple movement, our internal/external obliques should remain relatively balanced.  With simple breathing, they should be able to remain relatively quiet.

What I want to share with you!

The pelvic floor is part of our core and should be cued and included in ALL core workouts! Thats why this first course I designed deals with the pelvic floor and looks at how a common problem of leaking is associated with weaker pelvic floor muscles. It combines transverse abs, posture, breathing and pelvic floor together and shows the importance of knowing that these things are actually working well. Gaining some insight into assessing these areas and then helping our clients learn how to best access and use these areas is so important for them to see long term change.

Learn from a pelvic floor physiotherapist who participates in the personal training and fitness world because she used to work in them.

My purpose is to bridge the gap between the therapeutic clinical setting and the therapeutic exercise setting.

I always learn so much from all my fellow trainers and I want to share my information as well. If you want to learn more and learn to look at things from a slightly different perspective, then follow on to the next link…

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