STEP TWO: Isolate the Pelvic Floor
Feel the triangle of the pelvic floor engaging. Release it - and without using any of your abdominal muscle re-engage JUST the pelvic floor. Feel the triangle shaped muscle contracting without any other muscles being used. Keep Breathing!
When to Engage Your Core:
We always think about protecting our backs when lifting heavy items. Here are some other things to think about. Repetitive Motion injuries often happen from the simple everyday life activities. It's the little things that evenutally turn into big problems.
Practice at engaging your core all the time!
STEP THREE: Engage the Abdominal Muscles
Touch your stomach just beneath your belly button. Pull your abdominal muscle back to your spine.
To Sit or Stand in full alignment, let's take it further!
STEP FOUR: Shoulder Adjustment
Rotate each shoulder individually backwards - taking the forward rounding out. It is always important when adjusting your shoulders to do them one at a time. If you rotate them both together - you will drop out of the position much quicker than you normally would.
Your Core is Now Engaged!
The Psoas muscle is contracting and you are ready to lift and protect your back.
But BEWARE - it only takes 5 seconds to forget your core is engaged and release it.
You will need to create cues in your everyday life to remember to engage your core. When your core is engaged your will sit and stand taller. Placing a mirror that you make eye contact with behind your computer or reset the rear view mirror - when you can no longer see you - time to go through the steps again!
STEP FIVE: Align Your Head
Pull your head towards your back and tilt your chin down.
Congratulations! You are now standing or sitting with your entire body in alignment!
This will feel quite odd, but give it a chance! Check yourself out in the mirror and you will see yourself standing tall and confidently. Shoulders squared, head held high and your core engaged!
STEP ONE: Engage The Pelvic Floor
Engaging the Pelvic Floor can be tricky if your muscle have weakened. I have included a video that is useful for both men and women (even though it just states it's just for women) as well as directions for just for men.
STEP ZERO: Breathe and Square Up Your Body
It is extremely important to keep a normal breathe while contracting your core - if you are going to use your body properly - you can not hold your breathe!
Align your toes, knee and pelvis so they are all in a straight line, hips width apart, facing forward.
Sitting at a desk
Any Work Posture
Purse or Bags
Engaging your PSOAS regularly is extremely beneficial to both men and women. Helping to regulate incontinence, bladder control and improve sexual health. When we look at the Psoas muscle via Muscle Therapy - it is the key muscle to using your body "correctly". When you engage your core muscle, you will use your muscles properly. When the Psoas is not properly engaged, the body will use other inappropriate muscle to do the job.
When your Psoas is engaged while lifting a box of paper from the floor - the Psoas and supporting abdominal muscles will do the core work. When the Psoas is not engaged, the Quadratus Lumborum and the Lower and Mid Erector Spinae Muscles will do the work - causing low back fatigue which eventually leads to scarring, damage and pain.
The Low Back Muscles: Quadratus Lumborum (QL) and Lower Erector Spinae and Mid Erector Spinae (ES) will both contract to bring your torso upright and stabilize the body. When the Psoas is contracting - it is the antagonist muscle to the QL, Lower ES and Mid ES. If the antagonist muscle is contracting (the Psoas) the QL and Lower and Mid ES can not contract. You can only hurt a muscle that is contracting. The QL, Lower ES and Mid ES are most often the source of pain in the low back.
The PSOAS (pronounced: "So-As") is literally and figuratively the core of your being. The PSOAS lays in front of the spinal column and behind the organs of the stomach. Shaped like a thick sausage, this muscle is the all important Core Muscle which so many people focus on nowadays. The core is also the center of your feelings. Muscle Therapy in this area can be extremely intense releasing not just physical pain but also mentally releasing your feelings.