Are we doing this right?! I have talked about how our abdominal muscles protect the core of our bodies, including our spine, and how we should focus on engaging them throughout the day to keep our posture upright. I mean, it’s called the core for a reason! It is the CORE of our body!
So if we’re doing this all day every day why are we not seeing or feeling those core muscles? There are a couple reasons. We use these muscles for so much more than we know. From laying down to sitting up, sitting up to standing, turning, pushing, even just standing our abdominals are working! Since the abdominals are such an important part of our movements throughout the day, we use them without even realizing. These every day movements are small, we are not usually doing them with weights attached and it doesn’t take much effort. Just like we use our leg muscles every day to do the same movements, yet we don’t feel sore there either. Every day movements won’t strengthen because it is what our bodies are meant to do. Using your core to actively engage in good posture is not going to drastically strengthen those muscles, it will positively affect your posture. Focusing on posture throughout the day and when exercising will prevent injury or pain in the future.
So how is it done? Brace yourself. Brace yourself like you would if you were expecting a punch to your stomach. Squeeze those muscles, as if you are drawing them inward towards your spine. Do this while standing, sitting, even laying on your back. While bracing, now practice breathing. You shouldn’t have to brace and hold your breath (a mistake I used to do!)
This won’t give you a six pack, and it won’t make you sore. It will benefit your posture on a daily basis, which will benefit you in not getting injured when doing any exercise, exerting any extra force throughout your day, and prevent pain that comes from long term positions we are in throughout our days (if you sit or stand A LOT at work).
Tell me how it goes!
*Refer back to posture post to see before and after I engage my core photos*