Sparkles and Sunshine: How To: Engage Your Core

How To: Engage Your Core

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Happy Thursday!

Remember all of those crunches we did in PE as a kid? Let's not forget all of the push ups too! I remember those way too well, but what I don't remember anyone telling me was "engage your core." I didn't hear what that meant until I was older, and I didn't know how to do it until after I hurt myself from incorrect form at the gym.

Because of what happened, I did learn what engaging my core really means which is a positive. I'm more aware of how I should be doing my workout moves which will strengthen me rather than hurt me again. If you're not sure what this means too, then I hope this blog post is insightful!

Engaging your core is just another way of saying do a pelvic tilt. When I was doing physical therapy, I had to do 15-20 of these every visit because I needed to start training my body to know this motion. I've created a Gif below to show the difference between how we normally look: butt is more out with a curved spine compared to the pelvic tilt where you'll see my back is more of a straight line, core is more tucked in. The pelvic tilt is the correct position to be in before doing any exercise that is working your core. For additional information, here's a YouTube video that really shows what I'm describing: 

To show how your body should look with the initial exercises mentioned, I've created a few more Gif's. For any core movement on the ground, you want to feel your low back flat against the mat or any surface that you're on. By doing this you are protecting your low back from any potential injury.

The next Gif shows the correct form of a push up + a way to strengthen your core and low back if you're weak or have hurt yourself like I have. One of the workout moves that I am doing are called full release push ups. Basically you're starting in a plank position, lowering down to the ground, releasing your hands fully and then either coming back up on your knees or completely back up into a plank. The benefit of doing this is to build your body up. Not everyone has the strength to do a full push up right away and even if you do, you may not be doing it correctly. I know for a fact that my spine was curved in when I was doing push ups previously after learning about the pelvic tilt which could have been one of many factors that contributed to my low back problem.

I truly hope this post was helpful and that I can hopefully prevent future injuries (from not doing this at least).

Tank: Nike
Pants: Nike
Shoes: Asics 

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