Charlotte and I began training together in 2017. Charlotte was keen to work on some core restoration exercises, as her two lovely children had been delivered via cesarian section, and she felt that her abdominal muscles needed a little TLC. When we met, Charlotte was also recovering from a hip injury, and we both agreed (with the ok from her doctor) that stabilising the core and mobilising the low spine would help her post-rehab regimen.
If you have been following my case studies, you may have read about my pre-natal work with Cath B, where we were focusing on activating the pelvic floor and inner core muscles. Well, in that post you may have picked up on the idea that activating these muscles is really valuable in itself, but also that it is just the first step in the journey towards the broader concept of ‘advanced core control’.
What does that mean? Well it does not necessarily mean doing 800 crunches or planking for an hour a day, that’s for sure. In many ways it's quite the opposite in fact… While strong abdominal and back muscles are great, like other large muscles in the body, they are designed for big movements of short duration, and should only really be kicking in when the body needs them. If the inner core muscles are a little lazy, and these ‘big movers’ end up working overtime, they can become tight or easily fatigued. Not only that, but these big muscles tend to give the body a ‘braced’ or ’locked’ position when they fire on. This can be helpful in some situations, such as lifting heavy loads, but not so much if you want more dynamic stability during movements like running, jumping, dancing, or maintaining your balance.
In order to achieve this kind of dynamic control, it is important that you learn how to activate the inner and outer parts of the core separately. Charlotte and I therefore worked on a programme designed to activate and isolate different parts of the core independently, a few snippets of which can be seen in the video below.
As well as training with me, Charlotte is an experienced yogi, and took to these exercises like an absolute pro! She quickly mastered beautiful control of her inner unit, and is now set up with the skills she needs to advance her core control as time goes by.
A girl after my own heart, Charlotte has also recently started taking ballet lessons, and we are looking forward to putting her core control skills to use this year by working on some Progressing Ballet Technique during our sessions.
Thank you Charlotte, you have been a delight to work with, and a star student! An extra shout out also goes to you for the best leggings of 2017! :D Xxxx
Please note: Elements of this training programme were inspired by the teachings of Lisa Howell, B.Phty. I would like to thank and acknowledge her for producing some of the best teacher training resources available in the field of dance medicine. Thank you Lisa! <3 xxx