Trunk Stability - Move it! Part I

So what is the motivation of your core workout? Is it abs of steal or making the SI bikini issue? Don't waste your workouts by leaving them on the mat, make that investment work for you in movement. As with most of our training - we need to change our mindset and that holds true with our core stability workouts as well.

To me the goal of pillar stability is to provide a strong base from which to create our movements - whether that is lifting the kids, unloading groceries, mountain biking or running a trail marathon.

A dynamic pillar conditioning program incorporates and strengthens the hips, trunk and scapulae. 

The first step is an understanding and awareness of neutral spine. We all have natural normal curvature of our spines, but we want to individually find that middle. While drawing up at a sub-max contraction, on that pelvic floor  (the same feeling as if we were trying to stop the flow of urine) via transverse abdominal activation and the same time drawing the scapulae down toward your back pockets. Exploring the extremes of the range of motion - over arching the lower back and over rounding the lower back or tucking the pelvis - helps us fnd that middle where the body is stacked - shoulders, hips, knees over feet.

This discovery in a very simplistic manner and progress to more complicated maneuvers. For example we would begin in a supine position feeling for the level between the hip bones and pubic bone and a small grape beneath the small of the back, which you do not want to crush. From this point we check in with breathing - and make certain we are breathing deep and still maintaining neutral spine. We then add movement to the posture - ie raise one arm up and then over head, building awareness of what it entails to maintain neutral spine through movement. The progression continues with knees bent - and marching one foot up and down - alternating, again focus and attention to maintaining neutral spine.

From this basic position we continue to challenge the ability and awareness to maintain neutral spine from the quadruped position and kneeling to transition from standing to kneeling and standing. With each progressive position is challenged with upper and lower body movements.

Through the entire practice of finding that neutral spine - we should also begin to train deep effecient breathing - characterized by lateral and anterior-posterior vs superior trunk expansion movment. 

Part II gets to the core - reaping the rewards of the pillar stability workout in movement. And how to develop an effective workout delivering more bang for the investment buck