How do I know if I am really using my core?
Many clients come to us saying that they know that they “really need to work on their core”, But what does this actually mean from a clinical perspective? Well firstly, it is a little more complex than just doing some crunches.
Within our core muscles in the trunk and abdomen there are 2 main groups.
Group 1 – The Outer Unit
These are the muscles most of us think of when we do core strength at the gym. They have an important stability role when the body is under load, such as in lifting, running, and most functional activities done at speed. This group includes your rectus abdominus (6-pack muscles) and your obliques at the front, and your erector spinae at the back.
In our clinic we often see patients with low back, pelvic or groin pain, who are in fact quite strong in their Outer Unit muscles. In fact some of them swear they have really great “core strength”, yet they still can’t seem to stay pain free.
Group 2 – The Inner / Deep Unit
The missing link for many patients is the Deep Unit of core muscles. These include the transverse abdominus, multifidus and the pelvic floor group. This group of muscles are designed to work at slower speeds, for a longer period of time to provide segmental stability (between one level of the spine and the next).
In some people the deep unit naturally works well. However, in others specific training is the best way to learn to engage these muscles effectively and avoid unhelpful habits such as bracing and breath holding.
How can QSMC help me to learn how to use my core in the right way?
At QSMC we offer Real-time Ultrasound assessments with one of our trained physiotherapists to assess the function of your deep unit muscles in a non-invasive way. This assessment is followed up with training to individually tailor a program to specifically train the deep unit. For many clients with low and back and pelvic pain, this individual tailoring is the key to making true progress with their core strength.
Contact our Reception team on (07) 3891 2000 or firstname.lastname@example.org to book your appointment with one of our Pilates specialists today.
For more information about our Real-time Ultrasound check out this video.