I believe in the importance of core strength. I have certainly read a lot about it’s importance, but have also felt how important it is in my own body. When I have a strong core I am a stronger runner, cyclist, swimmer and massage therapist.
For most of my adult life I have done some sort of core work. I certainly have had my lazy periods when I don’t bother with it. But after several months of being lazy, I can feel it in my body. Overall I am not as strong.
These past 8 months I have made an effort to really focus on my core (and overall) strength, after a few years of haphazard strength training. This past June I started working with Erica email@example.com which has made a huge difference in my strength. I do overall strength work with her, incuding lots of core stuff – and not your grandmother’s sit-ups (sorry for the reference Mom). She has me work on all the muscles around my core incuding movements with the upper and lower body. Really good functional strength stuff.
Then this past fall I started Pilates with Meredith @ Springboard Pilates. Not only am I now addicted to Pilates (more on this addiction at a later time), but I have seen my core strength improve even more. Pilates includes a number of excerises (with and without machines) that help you focus intensely on all your core muscles (there are a lot of them – believe me! More than just Rectus abdominis). I have had sore muscles that I knew existed, but never new they could be worked in this way.
The work I have done with both Meredith and Erica has helped me tremendously in my running and in my work as a massage therapist. The increased strength of my core (“power house” in Pilates) helps me in all of my movements. My body is more efficient as well as stronger.
I recently found out that triathlete and blogger (you HAVE to check out her and her hubbie’s blog if you love the bizarre side of nature) Kelsey Abbott (firstname.lastname@example.org) also leads Core Conditioning classes. I thought it was just for her swim girls. No no – she leads classes at The Sanctuary in Yarmouth on Mondays @ 7pm, as well as classes at the Freeport YMCA.
One last work on core strength. I have noticed that many of my clients with low back pain have a weak core. So, if nothing else – core work can prevent one of the most common complaints – low back pain.