Your core, the core of your body, the trunk, is formed of the abdominal muscles, sides of the abdomen, back, pelvis and diaphragm.
Understanding how to activate, or rather control, the core of your body is one of the most important steps in your development. THIS is the foundation of your body.
Why? Because movement comes from your core, thus controlling the core means you will have better control over your body.
It will be easier to think about tensing the abdominal muscles when you think about activating your core, it’s easier to visualise, feel and control. After a while you will be able to control other muscles of your core.
Once you manage to connect with your core and focusing on building strength in that area you will experience:
Core strength is the foundation for powerful, explosive movements such as jumping, sprinting, or throwing.
2. Back health.
It is estimated that four out of every five adults (80%) will experience back pain at some stage in their life. Many of the back pain cases are mechanical, meaning they change with posture and level of activity. A strong core is essential to a healthy back that will carry your body throughout your life with little or no pain.
If you ever find yourself in a situation when your balance or stability is compromise a strong core will come to the rescue.
4. Reduce risk of injuries
Back pain, compromised stability, lifting, carrying, throwing, and catching, are all movements we do throughout our lives. A strong core will give you better chances of less injuries and living with less pain.
There is no doubt that having a strong core will enable you to build the lasting foundations required for a fit, healthy, strong and powerful body, but how do we work with it? How do we actively, or intentionally engage our core and jut wait for it to happen?
There are a few ways one can explain what “engaging your core” or “activate your core” means and how to achieve it.
Learning how to breathe, pulling your stomach muscles in is the first step towards learning how to activate your core muscles. As you breathe out your abdominal muscles pull in and the whole core activates, or tenses.
Do you have the Breathing Mastery chapter I share for free? If you don’t, click here to download it. It will explain everything in detail.
Not really punching, but imagining someone is trying to punch you in the stomach. What would you do? How would you react if you had to “receive” the punch?
You’d brace for the punch, trying to withstand the blow. You’d also notice when you brace for the punch you breath our slightly.
- Sucking the stomach in
Sucking the stomach in is another way to describe the core activation process. However I am personally not happy with this description.
When you suck your stomach in you don’t necessarily tense your abdominal muscles, maybe just a little, but not enough.
Thus this is one way to do it, but not a way I’d do it.
- Lying on the ground
Lie on the ground – preferably a hard, straight surface – face up, with your knee bent and feet flat on the ground.
Notice the natural curve in your lower back.
Now try to flatten your low back, touching the ground with that portion of your spine. You will notice that to do that you need to tense your abdominal muscles.
Four ways to activate or engage your core muscles. Every time you workout, lift your kids, your bag, carry groceries, remember to activate your core muscles.