Your Health Matters

The Core of Our Body

This week we take a look at the CORE of our body and no I don’t mean a six pack or in my case a flab pack I am talking about the trunk of our body. There is no doubt that we all have our own theory on what the Core of our body serves its purpose for or perhaps the lack of purpose!

Robyn Bailey is our Senior Female Physiotherapist at Sportreat whom has over 20 years experience in her field. Robyn worked at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and the Commonwealth games in 2006.

Read on to find out a few tips sent from one of our Senior Physiotherapists Robyn Bailey:

The Core

The core is “A Box” surrounding the Spine. The Diaphragm and Pelvis are above and below the muscles which allow movement and support to the body.
The Core Stability allows the body to control the trunk and then the rest of the limbs as well.

The muscles of the core act like a corset which stabilises movements through the trunk. There is the Rectus abdominus at the front, transverse abdominus, and Multifidis, External Oblique’s and Quadratus Lumborum posteriorly.

The spine has a natural curve in it which allows movement and action of the limbs via nerves to the muscles and joints.

The Pelvic Floor lies at the base of the Core and the muscles sit deeply at the base of the abdomen and are responsible for bladder and bowel function. They also act to stabilise the pelvis and lower back.

Pelvic floor exercises are very important for bladder function especially after childbearing and any prostate surgery. We have specialised physiotherapists to treat these conditions and these exercises really help to improve function.

There are specific Core exercises which can be done to really strengthen the core muscles. Sportreat physiotherapists can be seen to supervise these and work on more advanced exercises once you have improved.

Also for children and adolescents the Core strength exercises are very beneficial and aid in the movements of the lower and upper limbs in sport and assist proprioceptive feedback. This is especially helpful in sports like Football and Netball.

Three simple exercises that you can try…

Activating TA (Transverse Abdominis)
body core activating taLie on your back with your neutral spine. Place your fingers 2cm inwards and upwards from your anterior superior iliac spine (see picture below, but commonly referred to as your “hip bone”) and press firmly to feel the contraction. Draw your belly button inwards and upwards at 30% of the maximum contraction. This is described as a ‘sliding’ movement, if your abdomen is raising, you are activating your obliques.

Four Point Kneeling
4 point kneelingBegin kneeling on all four points. Keep your head facing the floor for optimal spine alignment. Practice your TA activation in this position.

Bridge
the bridge exerciseIn addition to your usual muscle activation, this time you will need to add a gluteal squeeze. Lie on your back with knees bent, flatten your lumbar spine against the floor (posterior pelvic tilt), squeeze your gluteals together then lift your pelvis high off the floor and hold, then slowly lower your pelvis back.

Be sure to follow these tips from Robyn Bailey.

Stay tuned for our next blog post. We will be talking about cricket, a much loved game for all Australians. If you have any topics that you would like to see covered in future blogs, please email [email protected]

Mel Marsh

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