A strong core and a healthy spine are two things that most adults don’t have. Research shows that most adults have a weak core and an unhealthy spine. This is because most people spend most of their time sitting at their desks or in front of their TV. This type of lifestyle doesn’t encourage a strong core and healthy spine.
A simple core tip and exercise from Sylvia Favela to help strengthen your core.
Rick Kaselj, MS
Hey guys, Sylvia here with 360 Pilates. I have another move for you to help with a healthy spine.
Now we think about a strong core with some strong abs to help strengthen your back. The Core Lift is the one move I want to emphasize. It is because a strong body helps to protect your back from injury.
However, it’s not that you need hundreds and hundreds of sit-ups or crunches to do these, which are much targeted moves. And the thing with Pilates and making this particular move is keeping your posture and spine in alignment.
I am going to lie down. You can lie down on a mat. I am outdoors today because it is a beautiful day. You are going to keep your feet flat. And you are going to interlace your hands behind your head. Do not use your fingertips. So you are going to think about interlacing your hands behind your head. And then you are going to inhale to breathe in, and then you exhale and lift.
As you exhale and lift, you want to think about your spine. You want to keep it long. And you don’t want to tuck your chin down because that is going to put too much pressure on your neck, and that is going to force your hips to kind of tuck up. Then you want to keep them down. You are going to inhale and exhale and lift.
You want to focus on where your spine is as you are coming up and down. As you are doing this, you want to keep your pelvis perfectly still and keep the abs pulling in the entire time.
A lot of times, what happens with lifts this way is that you are pulling on the back of your neck, and you are pulling on your hip flexors, so it looks like more of a wave. You want to move through each motion, inhale back and exhale lift. You want to keep your body nice and still.
That is this movement on the Core Lift — What you want to think about doing is controlling the action.
It doesn’t seem like a lot, and it doesn’t seem like a massive movement, and you are right; it is not.
It is a very cool move because you are cradling your head with your hands, so you use your hands as a basket. Your thumbs are right at the base of your neck to help because you don’t want to put any pressure on your neck.
The more pressure you apply on your neck and shoulders, the more pressure you put on the spine. So you want to focus on letting your head lie heavy on your hands as you lift.
I know that’s a lot of information, and it’s like, “oh, can’t I just lift my body?”
Control your movement.
It is not the quantity of this particular move. It is the quality of these moves. You want to focus on doing about 10 of these movements at the beginning.
We will go ahead, and I will give you a write-up right underneath this video so that you can practice this, and the more you practice, the more you will feel more profound control in your core in those transverse abdominals. You will handle your back and spine almost improved and linked in. I know that may seem odd, but you will see.
I go through movement exercises like this in my 360 Pilates program here:
Sylvia from 360 Pilates, and I hope you enjoyed that workout.