“I must strengthen my core”, “my physio told me I have a weak core”, “my back hurts so I need to do sit-ups to strengthen my core” - these must be some of the sentences I hear the most as my role as an Instructor at Soul Pilates. And the outcome that most clients end up with is to think (or actually start acting on) that they must do a million sit ups EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. to fix their back.
So what is this infamous ‘core’, why does it need strengthening and how the hell do you strengthen it? Your 'Core' is your tummy right? Well… actually the abdominal area is only part of the core story…
Not many of us can continue to run every day and stay fit at the same time. Running has the tendency to put considerable stress on joints and lead to all manners of pain and aches if you’re not careful. The repetitive movement involved can be brutal, especially as you age and your bones become weaker. This is where Pilates can better condition your body to deal with this stress.
Pilates is a functional routine that is all about strengthening the core. It improves your stability, flexibility and allows you to be in total control of your body’s movements. Read on to learn how and why Pilates benefits runners.
I was recently having acupuncture (with the wonderful Verity Allen) and we got chatting about phycology of running, for many. She explained that it wasn’t running she had an issue with, but people’s relationship with running. I said that for many people running is like mediation, it relaxes them. She agreed but said, “well what happens, for example, when you have children and you can’t go running so much, or you have an injury and can’t run at all? Where does your off switch come from then? People should learn how to relax in more genuine meditative ways”.
"People should learn how to relax in more genuine mediative ways"
I guess for us all we develop strategies for how we cope with the ups, downs and general stresses of everyday life. But we’re told cardio is good for us. It burns off stress – right? Well actually this isn’t so much the case when you delve a little deeper and look at what’s going on inside us at a bio-chemical level.