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. 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.
2 Easy Steps and Your Core is Now Engaged!
The Psoas muscle is contracting and you are ready to protect your low 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.
Here is one of our favorite reminders: Placing a mirror that you make eye contact with, behind your computer or reset the rear view mirror in your car, to match your core engaged posture. You will sit taller than normal when your core is engaged. If you can no longer see yourself in the mirror – it is time to reengage the core. Initiate the steps again! Your back will thank you and you will find your workouts and movement to be much more fruitful.
STEP FIVE: Align Your Head
Tilt your head towards your back , then 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
Why is the Psoas Important?
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 muscles of the low back will do the work - causing low back fatigue which eventually leads to scarring, damage and pain.
Psoas is your Core Muscle
The PSOAS (pronounced: "So-As") is literally and figuratively the core of your being. The PSOAS lies in front of the spinal column and behind the organs of the stomach. Deep underneath the abdominal muscles, the abdominal muscles work in conjuncture with the Psoas. 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
STEP TWO: Isolate the Pelvic Floor
Feel the triangle of the pelvic floor engaging by doing a kegel or squeezing the pelvic floor. You will note that you are using your abdominal muscles as well as squeezing your pelvic floor muscles. Release the kegel and begin again – BUT this time, try to engage your pelvic floor without using your abdominal muscles at all. Isolate the pelvic floor muscles. Feel the triangle shaped muscle contracting without any other muscles being used. Keep Breathing!