"Core" Training

Illu_vertebral_column.jpg

Vertebral column.Image via Wikipedia

Today I am going on a little rant about the number of personal trainers and pilates teachers who say they teach "core" training but have no real idea of what they are doing. I see so many guests at Parrot Cay who have hurt themselves in these privates and they all have a few things in common:

1. They assume their trainer, who gets paid for the service, actually knows what he or she is doing, so the client assumes that the pain is part of the process.

2. They are taught to tuck their pelvis under and flatten the lumbar spine in an attempt to stabilize and "protect" their backs.

3. They are placed on unstable surfaces like a Bosu before they are able to really stabilize in basic sitting, standing, and planking positions just on the floor.

The core muscles are the abs, back, butt, and thigh muscles. They work mostly to hold the torso and spine stable, and then also to help move the torso and spine. These muscles wrap around the body and cannot be trained in simply a front to back relationship. Flattening your lumbar spine actually weakens your core by taking away the normal curvature of your spine!

Any personal trainer or coach who causes people back, neck, and joint pain in the quest for core strength should not be teaching. Period. If you have a trainer who does this you need to find someone who knows what they are doing. Your time is money; plus you are paying someone to handle your body.

First learn to stabilize on the floor or mat (that's why Pilates starts supine and then progresses up to standing). Basic simple exercises that focus on maintaining torso stability as you move in different relationships to gravity and resistance (like we do in real life) are much more effective than contrived exercises on new gadgets.

There's no school like the old school! (Thank you, Brady for the quote.)