How To Activate Or Engage Your Core Muscles

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:

1. Power.

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.

 

3. Balance

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.

 

  1. Breathing

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.

 

  1. Punching

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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

Contact me for a free consultation. 

alexandramerisoiu

Alexandra Merisoiu, The Body Engineer, is the Founder of The Merisoiu Technique – Institute Of Health And Human Movement and Dracula’s Retreat. She is also a qualified Low Back Pain Management and Prevention Exercise Instructor and REPS registered.


She specialises in working with runners, beginners and advanced, who want to run faster, further, with less effort and fewer injuries. This is done through natural movement fitness and running technique and mechanics drawn from the many disciplines Alexandra has studies throughout the years, including long distance running.


Since 1995 she has explored how the body and mind works. She has done this through using many different sporting techniques and working with a wide variety of highly respected coaches. Throughout her Martial Arts career she has achieved 3rd Dan Black Belt in Karate Shotokan, runs her own Karate club and is IJKA 2017 triple World Champion, 2016 WMO Martial Arts British National and European Champion. She still competes at an international level.


It is through these learnings, and drawing inspiration from respected natural movement names such as MovNat, IdoPortal and POSE Method of running among many others, that she has created The Merisoiu Technique and has established her own unique transformational programs that incorporate thousands of years of knowledge with Natural Human Movement.


Alexandra’s mission is to challenge the status quo of how to achieve the truly strong, fit and powerful body a runner needs to perform at their best level. This is done through building strong, lasting foundations in the natural outdoor environment; reducing the risk of injuries and educating people on the power of the fundamentals of natural human movement and running mechanics.


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