Core strengthening, or “inner core strengthening”, is retraining of the deep muscle system in your body to help you create stability for movement. The true core muscles are the deepest layers of muscle located around your trunk.
We think of the abdominal core region as including the diaphragm, the deep abdominal called transversus abdominus, the pelvic floor musculature, as well as the deep back muscle called multifidus. These muscles all work together in an integrated fashion to provide you with a stable base for movement and to limit shearing and strain on the joints and muscles.
If your core is unable to work properly, your muscular stability is compromised and your body is more subject to the stress and strain forces of movement and sport. Ultimately, this leads to a breakdown in the system and pain in your body.
We will teach you how to activate your inner core muscles, including learning how to diaphragmatically breathe, and then teach you how to coordinate the core muscles to function together in order to learn how to stabilize your body.
Once you have learned to recognize and change poor movement patterns, as discussed in Movement Retraining, then you can begin to integrate improved core activation patterns for more efficient movement.
After the inner core is coordinated and functioning well, then we can progress exercise further to engage the outer core, or bigger core muscles, that provide more powerful movements for function. The inner core muscles must contract first to stabilize before the outer core muscles contract to generate force, so the timing of contraction is important in the retraining phase. If better core muscle sequencing can occur, then you greatly improve your functional strength.
After your functional core strength has improved, then you can progress to more functional and fun exercise in the gym, at home, running on the track, riding your bike or driving it with ease on the golf course. The end result is that you learn to take your sport to the next level with less chance of re-injury and better performance overall.