Form follows function – getting to the core of functional training
The human body is amazing. Mankind has never been able to design a machine or microchip that can outperform the ingenuity of the human body. Each part of the body has evolved over millennia to work together, to heal its self, to learn and to move. When the body is in balance it runs itself better than a well-oiled machine but things go out of balance we can get injured or lose some of the function of our body. This is where the bodies power unit becomes so key to our movement in every way. The function of movement starts at the core.
Try this little experiment – place your index and middle finger from each hand onto your hip bones at the front of your body, slide your fingers inwards towards each other by about an 3- 4 cms and then press down gently – now cough. Did you feel that? That little bit of movement and tensions you may have felt under your fingers are your core muscles and they should work every single time you move.
The core muscles are complex, they connect across lots of structures inside your body and their main job it to protect you spine and keep you stable when you move, every single time you move. Unfortunately we often neglect to train these muscles and combined with sitting down, poor posture and a lack of exercise the core muscles can become weak and we become far more likely to be injured.
Keeping the core muscles strong is a real key for the body functioning and moving better. Pilates is a system that teaches the body use or ‘activate’ the core muscles and keep the body aligned when moving. It was designed as a means of rehabilitating injured ballet dancers in the 1920s by Joseph Pilates and has grown in popularity after been praised by many celebrities and sport stars. Pilates is not the only way to train the core muscles – things like balance training, suspension training and using free weights all teach the body how to use and strengthen these muscle properly.