The core of the body is your midsection. It’s made up of the front, back, and side muscles that keep the spine straight and stabilized, allowing you to stay in an upright position. Having a strong core has many benefits: you can efficiently work your middle to reach high objects, or easily bend it to pick things up from the ground. A solid center can also enable you to move with litheness and agility, two things that can help you avoid accidents or injuries. For example, by being able to twist your body or lunge to the side, you can stay clear of stray objects that can hit you. And in case something does hit your back, abdominal, or pelvic area, a tough core offers protection to your internal organs.
So how do you get a sturdy core? Pilates can help.
Pilates improves your breathing
Breathing is a central principle in Pilates, and the routine even promotes specialized breathing techniques that coincide with the beginning and end of a movement to maximize oxygen delivery to the muscles. But apart from facilitating the delivery of energy, proper breathing also aligns the spine, engages the abdominal muscles, and gives you better form.
Related article: The top five reasons why Pilates is the best workout
It trains you to control your core
During its early inception, Pilates was known as “contrology” and was marketed as an exercise that allowed one to control his or her muscles completely, particularly those hard to reach areas of the back and sides. However, “control” in this context stems from mental control over the muscles, highlighting the mind and body connection of Pilates. Its name may have changed over time, but Pilates remains an exercise on both mind and body control: if you think it, then you can be it. In other words, Pilates taps into your brain and body so you perform isometric exercises that require you to clench and unclench or hold and let go of particular muscles, strengthening your core.
Related article: How Pilates shapes the body
It keeps you aware of your center
To center yourself is to direct your energy to the middle of your body, precisely, the center of your core known as the “powerhouse,” or the area between your lower ribs and pubic bone. Pilates conditions you to center even when you’re not doing exercises, so you can work your core further in daily activities. Even when you’re doing mundane tasks like sitting in the car or lying on your bed, your Pilates training should allow you to locate and engage your core so you can provide substantial support to your spine.
It gives you better balance
Balance can be viewed as an extension of centering. Being aware of the location of your center makes it easier to distribute equal weight on either side of your body and achieve stability. Pilates has all sorts of exercises that throw you off your balance, and you need to use your core to regain your footing. For instance, different standing Pilates legworks will test how well you can keep your equilibrium when you’re required to handle oppositional weights due to challenging positions.
Related article: The benefits of Pilates to your overall health
Having a strong core is ideal, but it’s not easy to achieve. If you’re located in Dedham or Boston, let us help you gain a formidable midsection through our innovative and challenging Pilates programs. Be stronger and move better. Sign up for a Pilates class with C2 Body today.