Did you know that up to 80% of your immune system is found in your gut, and that the health of your digestive system affects your mood, motivation, will power, energy and even your intuition?
From a movement teaching perspective I find the gut / core absolutely fascinating.
I imagine that if you have ever worked out, you would have heard the cue 'tighten your core', 'pull in your belly' 'zip up your pelvic floor' and probably countless more ways to tighten your 'stomach' - unfortunately these really aren't the best cues to truly train your 'core', and in fact can have the unwanted side effects of anxiety, an increase in blood pressure, constipation, a flacid gut, indigestion, increased risk of injury, decrease in flexibility and less ability to absorb force - need I go on?
Guest Post by Rachael Hall, Franklin Method Educator
What is the core anyway?
Well it is way more that the thin layer of abdominal muscles that surrounds your belly. It is your stomach, your intestines, your colon, your kidneys, your psoas, your ql, your diaphragm, your pelvic floor, your spinal muscles - and these beautiful, clever parts work together as a whole, in symphony, they communicate with each other, they influence each other and they definitely do not want to be held in a vice regularly by 'tightening your core'.
Ways that you can improve the wellbeing of your gut and tone of your belly:
Let your belly be dynamic, if it were supposed to be rigid and held in ALL the time, nature would have created a more rigid structure, like ligaments or bone - your core is dynamic, just breathe and let your abs go along for the ride.
Just pulling your gut in does not allow it to express its's movement potential and core support - it dumbs it down.
Get to know your gut, what it looks like, what it FEELS like, and even try working out or going for a run while embodying / focussing on your gut!
Believe it or not, embodying your colon can improve your flexibility, balance, strength and even force absorption.