Did you know?
You have an internal ‘powerhouse’ that can improve your posture, prevent injury and transform your health?
In this article, BodyMindLife teacher Narelle Clark, gets to the core of the matter….
The ‘powerhouse’ was a term used by Joseph Pilates (1883-1967), when he taught his exercise system known back then as ‘contrology’. He believed the ‘powerhouse’ was the centre of the body and when strengthened offered a solid foundation to all exercises and enabled you to perform everyday activities with ease.
Today we call Joseph’s exercise system simply ‘Pilates’ and we understand this ‘powerhouse’ Joseph referred to was a complex group of muscles located in the centre of our body which provided control with movement. In today’s world of science this power engine is referred to as the lumbo pelvic hip complex and is part of the stabilisation system. Short of giving you an anatomy lesson it’s a muscular network made up of superficial & deep muscles located at the front, sides, back, top & bottom of your torso. So it goes a lot deeper than your abdominal muscles. This ‘powerhouse’ term is even more simply referred to as the ‘core’.
So how does Pilates impact my ‘powerhouse’?
When correctly engaged the deeper core muscles act as stabilisers and force transfer centre rather than a prime mover. Strength in movement is achieved through interconnectivity versus isolation thereby the body is strengthened with more control and stability. Many of the Pilates exercises are whole body integrated movements enabling you to tap into the entire powerhouse.
What are the benefits of increasing the strength in my ‘powerhouse’?
A strong ‘core’ decreases your chance of injury, enables you to perform everyday activities better, improves your sport, decreases fatigue in surrounding muscles, decreases the chance of back pain returning, strengthens the management of existing injuries & conditions, supports your spine – improving your posture, improves your balance & stability and increases your energy.
From a Yoga and Pilates perspective, increasing your core strength will help you achieve that perfect handstand or teaser – or anything else you desire. A strong core fuels the strength in the muscles of your limbs!
Having a defined six pack abdominal muscle does not always translate to a strong core!
How will I know if my ‘powerhouse’ is weak?
Weaknesses in the core can present in many ways but most commonly with pain somewhere in the body – usually the back. Other signs may include increased injuries during sport, poor balance, poor posture, decrease in efficient functional movement, excessive joint movement and overall muscle weakness with everyday activities such as lifting and squatting.
Strengthening your core is achievable for all levels of fitness and at any stage of an injury or issue. You just need to start at the right level and progress until you have that strength to achieve your goals. Pilates is adaptable to all fitness levels and not only enables you to stand taller but to create long, lean and strong muscles.
There are over 150 Reformer Pilates classes to choose from at BodyMindLife. Held every day at all four Sydney studios, there’s no reason not discover your inner powerhouse!