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Core Stability with 'core on' or Structural Integrity?

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Core Stability with 'core on' or Structural Integrity?

Postby Pamelaann on Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:16 am

I teach ‘Postural Alignment Fitness Classes’, and last night I was having quite a discussion with two of the members of the class that also regularly do Pilates classes.

It seems that whenever I tell them to 'release the abdominal muscles' in order to undertake certain exercises, particularly if they are more demanding they will “put on their core” and they were telling me they didn't feel able to do a lot of the posture exercises I give them without their core on!

The discussion started in ‘Hand opp Legs on hands and knees’ and started with the question of whether to have the eyes looking forward (and therefore head up) or eyes looking downwards?.................... and this is a particular question I still don't know the answer to, it seems to me headdown is more in line in keeping with a straight spine, and this is the particular Pilates way of doing it, but from what I think I remember when we were learning this exercise in MBF it was eyes looking forward, but maybe it doesn't matter?

I digress........................ The students were telling me apparently in Pilates they wouldn't be able to do this exercise, or allowed to in a Pilates class without their core on. Well, that totally fascinated me and I wanted to share here for views and opinions on this too.

Because, if you have stability in the muscles around the pelvis, and also the thoracic/shoulders (from previously having worked frontal plane) you surely do not need your core on. And I always start my classes now with frontal plane exercises, in fact I use a lot of frontal plane before we start going sagittal and transverse.

So it would seem that many Pilates students will be using 'their core’ in compensation for lack of postural stability and integrity elsewhere. This of course will prevent any advancement in postural stability and integrity. ...............................Interesting. And, of course the other issue is putting on ‘a core’ on a dysfunctional body anyway......................... increasing dysfunction, and that's before you start!

I am not knocking Pilates in this by the way, it has its place, and for many people a really enjoyable and good exercise system, it wouldn't be any different to yogi’s coming to my class and telling me that they couldn't do the exercises without mulha or uddiyana bandha!!!

It kinda defeats the object of coming to a 'Postural Alignment Class' though in some ways! Ho hum, at least i usually get a good workout from it anyway!...........and we never stop learning in this game do we.

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Re: Core Stability with 'core on' or Structural Integrity?

Postby veena kudhail on Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:53 am

Hey Pam, nice one.

Ok this is my personal story.
Going back some 12-14 yrs ago i obtained a lower back injury through yoga. Only because i was super fit ( :lol: ok because i was super flexible.)
Pilates rescued me and gave me alot of stability and reduced my lower back pain.

However the pain never completely abated it was soooo much better.

Then came Egoscue into my life and bang in two sessions my pain vainished forever!!!!!
I was doing my Egoscue exercises as well as Pilates and the more i began to educate myself i realised that the core was a minisicule part of my body.

Next came MBF into my life and now i can say that "the wheel of balance" erectors to hip flexors, gluts to abdominals must be balanced out otherwise the pelvis is either going to be taken posterior or anterior.
I believe neutral is what we are looking for.

Now as a result of all the above courses i have under taken, i can say that the Pilates i teach is very functional.

Incidentally, when i go along to the Pilates conferences, can`t help noticing how most instructors have flat tummies, hyper knees!!!

veena kudhail
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Re: Core Stability with 'core on' or Structural Integrity?

Postby Pamelaann on Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:58 pm

Thanks Veena
Great to have your input on this one. Your Pilates classes will be the best thats for sure.

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Re: Core Stability with 'core on' or Structural Integrity?

Postby Michael Jen on Mon Aug 04, 2008 7:21 pm

When doing MBF exercises, people may begin to flex their abs (on non-ab exercies) for one or more of the following reasons....

- the exercise is inappropriate for their bodies and therefore they cannot perform the exercise properly without the compensating action of flexing their abs.

- the person is doing more reps or sets or holding a static position longer than the amount of strength and endurance that they have which then requires them to compensate.

- the person has formed a habit of flexing their abs from other exercise systems.

Ultimately, if a person wants to do MBF exercises, they need to do it the MBF way or else they will not get the benefit that MBF can provide.
Michael Jen

Licensed MBF Practitioner
Michael Jen
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