Header Image

Core Friendly Exercise

Yeah, what is core friendly exercise???

Some call it pelvic floor safe exercise this focuses on the floor, some call it tummy safe exercise this focuses on the midsection. I like to look at the bigger picture and consider the whole canister. Every exercise poses challenge to the body that is why I prefer the name core friendly exercise. This style of exercise is suitable for everyone – including those with a condition of the core.

First the science lesson, our inner core resembles a pressure chamber bounded by the diaphragm (your breathing muscle) at the top, pelvic floor at the base, multifidus and spine at the back and transverse abdominis wrapping around your midsection. Various exercises change the pressure contained within this chamber and this pressure is referred to as intra-abdominal pressure.

Core friendly exercise is about finding movements that nourish your body and finding a happy medium between challenging the body and not overwhelming it. This style of exercise is about knowing your body and being deeply aware of your centre and watching for signs and symptoms of pressure overload including a bulging abdomen, downwards pressure onto the pelvic floor, back pain/tension or not being able to maintain your breath. These are signs that the exercise is too strong.

However, you also need to be mindful as components of this chamber may have been damaged or altered due the effects of non-optimal lifting strategies, injury, poor posture, pregnancy and birth. So it is important to be assessed by a physiotherapist and/or pelvic floor physiotherapist and ask for their advice with regards to your current condition in relation to exercise.

The first step in core friendly exercise is understanding dynamic stability and how the deep centre really works. The second step is to focus on finding dynamic stability through connectivity with your breath and restoring balance in the body by training your body towards your neutral alignment.

Then you can utilise exercise to challenge your ability to remain connected with dynamic stability to reinforce these functional core patterns and your connection to neutral alignment.

It is human nature to want to improve and not feel bound by a set of rigid rules – we want to feel free. But you only get one body in this lifetime, so it's about finding your edge and not crossing that grey line. It's about being mindful that others might be able to train at a higher level than you – but you are not less than them and they are not more than you, as its about honouring and respecting your body.