As you know, I have so much exciting content coming up for you in the next few weeks! However, before I go on, I wanted to discuss this one foundational concept, because everything else I talk about is going to build on top of this. That topic is:
What is the function of the core?
You may notice that I mention core strengthening in a lot of my posts. And I’m willing to bet that anyone out there who’s struggled with back pain has heard the term “core” a million times.
But what are we really talking about here?
There are a lot of different schools of thought out there on the core.
In my experience, some of them are a lot more helpful (and rooted in science!) than others. So, in today’s post, I thought I would clarify what I want you to know, when I mention the core.
I like to think of the core as your home base.
The core muscles are meant to stabilize your pelvis and spine. That way, when you go to move, your arms, legs, neck, and head have a stable base to work off of.
I like to think of the core as your home base for movement. On its own, the core isn’t really meant to produce huge amounts of movement.
Instead, it responds to the different demands placed upon it and stabilizes the joints of your pelvis and spine under different conditions, so that your overall movement system can work efficiently.
Imagine if you went to throw a baseball…
This is how you want things to be. Notice how my posture is stable and upright. My arm and shoulder are then able to begin this movement in an optimal position, so that my muscles are able to efficiently contract.
Now imagine if I went to throw the same baseball, but my core muscles were made of Jell-O:
I can’t stand up straight; I can’t get any traction.
My actual arm and shoulder muscles could be just as strong, but they can’t work properly if they don’t have a stable base to operate off of.
That is why the core is so important.
We don’t always see the core working, or what it does. But hopefully, these pictures show you what would happen if it wasn’t there!
The same a way a strong core can help stabilize your arms, it also provides a stable base for your legs, and even your head and neck.
Training the core can also have a huge impact on stabilizing the SI joints
The core musculature is highly integrated into the area immediately surrounding the SI joints and pelvis.
Not only that, but the core muscles and the SI joints actually share an overlapping function: shock absorption.
Shock absorption refers to responding to force thats coming into the body from external factors, and being able to handle it and disperse it a certain way.
As you may know, once your SI joint ligaments have been injured, the joint itself may have trouble responding to these forces the same way. This is one reason why so many daily activities can be painful with SI joint dysfunction, as you may have experienced.
However, the good news is that, through core training, there is still a way you can stabilize this area, and improve how your body is able to respond to these forces.
There is so much more I’m going to be saying about this coming up!
There are different schools of thought, ways of doing core training, and ways to modify your exercises that your PT may not have thought of.
For now, I hope this post helped to give you one example of why the core is so important for all movement!
Stay tuned for so much more info coming up!