Your core stability muscles are in constant use throughout the day, just to keep you standing upright. We essentially want our core muscles to hold our lumbar spine in a neutral position, which means we need to train them so they can support this position even when we are hiking, running or doing a dumbbell squat in the gym. Weak core muscles are linked to poor posture, incorrect spinal alignment, abdominal distension (pot belly) and spinal injuries. So let's get targeting your 'core stability' muscles.
These 'deep' muscles need great endurance in order to work continuously, throughout the day, every day, and their goal is stabilisation rather than for producing movement. This means you can forget about doing hundreds of stomach crunches when training these muscles and instead concentrate on static or isometric contractions
To start to build our lumbar support, we need to learn to co-contract the Transversus Abdominis and Multifidus, using the "abdominal hollowing" technique with the spine in the neutral position.
Lie on your back with your knees bent.
Check your lumbar spine is in its 'neutral position' with just a small gap between your back and the floor (and not arched up or flat against the floor).
Relax as you take a deep breath in.
Breathe out and pull your lower abdomen inwards (ie try to pull your belly button towards the floor).
Hold the tension for 10 seconds, continuing to breathe throughout.
Why not start this week? Once you have got this sussed, you can move onto the topic of next week's blog, the plank!