Core Stabilization (Abdominals/Stomach/Pelvis)
Pretty much all bodily pain can be linked to the instability of the body’s core; the body is connected by what is referred to as the “Kinetic Chain”(Fig1). If you are weak or tight in one area of the body it can send you off kilter in other areas as well; therefore, causing pain in an area you wouldn’t even think of it being associated with.
An example of this is if you are limping on the right leg; you are most likely standing on your left foot more so, your left hip is pushed out (do it with me now), notice how your side ribs stick out to the right causing the shoulders to come left, then the head comes right so that the eyes remain straight… did you follow that? I know, confusing! Maybe this image will help:
Alright, but back to the CORE…
If your core is properly stabilized it will take pressure off of your back therefore, helping you maintain a proper postural balance, protecting you from all kinds of injuries (low back pain, hip pain, knees, ankles etc, etc, etc).
Visualize your kinetic chain from front to back, the bum stuck out, stomach out to front, the rest of the body compensates the same as described above.
And how do we do this you might ask?
- Lay on your back with your feet flat on the floor/bed
- Place the fingers of your right hand to the inside of your hip bone (right side)
- Place the left hand fingers to the outside of the belly button (on the right side) See Fig.2
- Feel the muscles under your right hand move when you do so
- These are what you are aiming to contract
- Now practice
- You should practice contracting this muscle (transverse abdonimus) without contracting the bigger abdominal muscles, which you will feel under your left hand
- Don’t forget to breath while you’re contracting; it is a small movement
- CUE: pretend someone is stabbing you with a sword; the “clenching” you would do if you were
- Once you have step 6 mastered (be honest, no jumping forward), slowly start to slide your right leg down to straighten it on the floor.
- If your left hip comes up, you are not bracing enough
- When/if the left hip starts to move, stop and return to the start
- Should be doing 15 reps a day to practice
- Next leg
You can practice the contraction of the muscle anywhere anytime!
Once you have the core muscles stabilized, they should be used during standing, walking, lifting, and carrying… yep, all the time.
Walking, standing; these should be automatic, you shouldn’t have to think about it once you have trained your body correctly.
Lifting, carrying; these you should be thinking more about BECAUSE, if you are lifting something heavy the pressure (depending on what way you are lifting, mostly any way) will be going to your lower back. Contraction of your core will take pressure off the back and protect it from injury. BUT, DON’T FORGET TO BREATH!
-Breathing.. hum..,That is a whole other discussion 😛
If you or one of your friends suffers from low back, hip or knee pain please share this information with them.
Want to know more about how to protect your body from injury?
- Part three is still to come
- OR/ Kelsey Walker with Achelois Sports and Athletic Therapy
- OR// Look up who your local Athletic Therapist is, this information can be found at https://athletictherapy.org/en/.