As I have grown older I can certainly appreciate the necessity for a strong core. Many people think of their core as their abdominal muscle group but in fact it encompasses our entire torso from front to sides to back. Joseph Pilates created a specific training method decades ago designed to strengthen the core of prima ballerinas he was working with. His philosophy was “If the core muscles are strong, then the limbs are allowed to move gracefully and with minimal effort.” His program proved to be very effective and accurate. “Pilates” has been a popular form of exercise ever since it went main stream in NYC all those years ago and it is because we have come to understand the extreme value it offers. We all simply function with much more ease in all our daily activities when our core strength is up to par.
Today we have almost endless products available to us that offer unstable surfaces causing our cores to work overtime. I’m all about getting as much bang for my buck as I can when it comes to training so, I have begun training with free weights while, lying, kneeling or standing on a Stability ball, BOSU ball, inflatable discs and rollers. This is not only more physically challenging but it also requires a mental focus that standing on the ground does not. My recommendation would be to begin without weights at all while standing on your choice of unstable surface. Allow your body to get a feel for the almost constant movement that must take place throughout the core, at the ankles and feet to stay balanced on the surface. Once you become comfortable with that then moving into light weights is next. You will notice how much all those core muscles have to activate to maintain your balance while doing shoulder presses, bicep curls, tricep kickbacks or whatever. Push-ups and dips are also excellent to do on BOSU, rollers or balls. Sguats and lunges are other options that are challenging and fun to explore on unstable surfaces. There are so many exercises that can be taken to a whole new level by performing them on unstable surfaces and the core strength gains are amazing!
Have fun with your fitness programs and remember to constantly mix up your routine so the body is kept guessing, advancing and improving. These incredible bodies are such a gift and they deserve the love and care. Always know the body was designed to adapt to load as well as heal itself on almost all levels. Miraculous in deed! Happy mind, body and spirit fitness to all.