Hold on! Your Core is More Than You Think

By Lisa Byrne, B.S Exercise Sciences  |  Certified Pilates Instructor
NABBW’s Boomer Women\’s Fitness Expert

It’s a hard to teach someone how to hold onto themselves.

I’m not talking about giving yourself a hug, although surely we could all use that daily. Holding onto yourself is core stability. Or is it core strength? Both?

Before you move next time try this:

  • Stop, look, and listen to your body, your mind, and your task.
  • Do you brace yourself first?
  • Yes, I\’m talking even if it is taking your cereal bowl to the kitchen table.

Think of putting on a favorite, old jacket from when you were in your 30\’s. Imagine zipping it up your trunk from your pubic bone to your breastbone.

Okay, you\’re tucked in. Now, let the contents inside the zipped part flow into the rest of your body. Down your legs and out your feet, through your arms, up into your neck, and out the top of your head. This imaging is the fundamental step of good core strength, thus good core stability.

Your core is:

  • How you hold onto yourself and …
  • How you hold onto yourself while holding onto something else

Core Strength Boils All 6 principles of Pilates Down to One: Centering

Core strength is core stability. People try to separate the 2 terms with technical names of muscles, directions, vectors and planes.

Articles call it a controversy. Some distorted messages with reference to 6 pack abs are downright humorous. Sure, that\’s useful information, but cut to the chase man…

What Is It Already? Actually, the core is more than you think.

Take a look at these 5 \’cut to the chase\’ reasons to be core centered:

  • Your posture pulls from a strong core
  • Clumsiness hasn\’t a chance to survive
  • Better stamina, more energy
  • Get up and down off the floor is much easier
  • Less pain with long bouts of standing

These plus 1000 more serve you daily.

If you can master the ability to hold onto yourself before you do anything, you will master the principle of core strength.

It\’s like stopping at the stop sign at the corner. If you blow through you\’re taking your chances.

  • One, on getting a ticket.
  • Secondly, and most importantly,  getting hurt or killed.

You wouldn\’t  intentionally blast through that stop sign in your right mind. Use those smarts every time you move whether it is:

  • At the gym
  • On the john
  • In the garden
  • In line at the bank
  • Walking on ice
  • Swinging a golf club
  • Reaching for that good china you keep way up on the top shelf!

In closing, remember Hall & Oates had a song that said it well… “Hold Onto Yourself”

Watch your body, take a hold of yourself/You\’ve gotta make it \’cause there\’s no one else

Keep your balance \’til the end of the line/Gotta find a way to get it right

Hold onto yourself, baby/\’Cause no one else will

Lisa Byrne is the owner and chief creative officer at Pilates for Sport, LLC in Bucks County, Pa. She has her B.S in Exercise Physiology and is a Certified Pilates Instructor. Lisa has operated her fully equipped Pilates studio since 1999 and has been in the Health and Fitness Industry for 23 years. The studio space is home to private sessions, small group training, and the outdoor circuit buffet, sure to get anyone grooving. Visitors to the movement studio span the range and include average Boomers looking for diversity; young people with Asperger’s-Autism; hard core athletes looking to ‘loosen up’; and those in need of chronic pain management through movement. Learn more about Lisa on her site, Move More Today.