What Core Stability Really Means

core Dec 05, 2015

Okay, I'll be honest, one of the most frustrating things with the Pilates method is, that it's not easy to do. As an instructor and studio owner, admitting this gives me goose bumps, because I know the classroom can intimidate people.

I recently used the following metaphor in class to explain this sad truth: Imagine you're new to a town or on vacation and you're driving to the mall. I personally find the traffic organization in malls confusing. You drive in circles and try to find access roads to a specific store, and then after all the shopping is done, how the heck am I getting out of this parking lot? You might find yourself driving around and around, not finding the right way.

In Pilates it can be just like that, you repeat exercise after exercise, not finding the right muscles.

The most sought after body part to strengthen is definitely the core. (Definitely for people seeking out Pilates, not sure about other forms of exercise, but I have a feeling everyone wants it.)

BUT core stability is a full body experience, not just strength in one body part. I want you to pay attention to your WHOLE body, not just to your abs or in the case of the exercise I'm about to teach you, the leg that's moving.

With everything that we do in the Pilates method we stay true to Joseph Pilates’ principles: Whole body health and whole body commitment.

As you watch the video and later when you do the exercise yourself, watch the ball move. If the ball moves, it means that your pelvis is moving (rocking from side to side). If your pelvis is moving, your spine is moving (side bending). It's chain reaction. All of a sudden your whole body is moving, and nothing is really stable. No single part is being strengthened, everything is just giving in to momentum. You're sort of rocking yourself to sleep. Sorry for the sarcasm, but what I mean to say is, you're not strengthening anything, sadly.

Movement is the opposite of stability. So now that you know this, try to keep everything still. Only ONE body part moves, the knee lifts.

Traditionally in exercise you focus on one body part engaging/one muscle burning.

Here is the video. Enjoy!


Get tips like this one delivered straight to your inbox!

I promise I'll only send relevant stuff, and you can unsubscribe any time.