Core Stability is an often-used term in the medical, fitness and wellness literature. And interestingly there is not consensus about what exactly comprises core stability as it relates to human movement.
As a physical therapist and a human movement specialist, my perspective incorporates all of the elements required for movement. In other words, how we move as a whole.
Who (?) – Our Movement Requires It
Movement is a complex process – comprised of intentional and reflexive patterns – incorporating our brain (sensory and motor pathways) and our peripheral nervous and musculo-skeletal systems. We move proximally through our vertebral column, shoulders and hips, and then through our arms and legs to achieve whole body involvement. Core stability is an essential element.
What (?) – Core Stability Defined
For every movement there is an equal and opposite reaction. And core stability sets the stage for your body to move. Our core stabilizing muscles – anatomically close to our vertebral column – are designed to position and move our vertebral joints with precision. This allows our shoulders, arms, hips and legs to move without strain on our back and neck joints.
When (?) – We Use It
When you stand on one leg, your foot and ankle muscles work with your hip, thigh, abdominal and trunk musculature to create the balance and stability. Also, when you use your hands or arms to carry items, you should have core stability in your shoulders and neck as well as your trunk and legs.
Where (?) – We Feel It
You’ll develop body awareness – including diaphragmatic breathing and key recruitment patterns for your abdominals, pelvic floor, hip, trunk and shoulder musculature. And with verbal, visual and tactile cuing to be sure you feel and understand what muscles and movement patterns you are using.
How (?) – With Movement
As babies, toddlers and children we learn to move with core stability principles engaged. This movement and activity is essential for our bodies to maintain core stability and healthy human movement and posture.
The challenge in our society is that the average person’s peak of physical activity level is age 6. For many adults that means we have had a decline in activity level and core stability – with poor habits for movement and posture that has caused an epidemic of neck and back pain. As well as excessive strain/ over-use of our joints, tendons and ligaments.
Good news – it’s never too late to develop new habits of movement – to re-engage your core stabilizing musculature. You can learn to take strain off your back, neck and joints – and to use your muscles as shock absorbers around your joints. To move well without pain – as we are designed to move.
Your body is resilient and you will respond positively. There is always something you can do to re-train and to achieve healthy movement patterns. Improving strength and balance while incorporating body awareness requires changing your movement habits.
New Habits for Posture, Movement, Balance & Wellness
I look forward to working with you in our Move For Health classes – as you develop body awareness, strength, balance and core stability. To move well without pain – during class and outside of class. With the tools, tips, strategies and understanding to apply these lessons to all aspects of your daily lives.
It’s always a pleasure to work with you – looking forward to our next class together!