There is a phrase in my exercise manual that became a bit of a joke during my teacher training – the joke was if we said it for every exercise, we would gain a tick when we were assessed.
I didn’t fully understand how it applied to our movements during a class until earlier on this year as I’ve had more experience of verbally cueing students into moving. the phrase?
maintain a constant and appropriate level of connection with the deep abdominals and pelvic floor throughout
As I learn more about how our muscles work and what we need to do to make sure they work in the most efficient way I’ve grown to understand what this means.
whenever we do something, we need to use just the right amount of muscles. Our muscles are made up of lots of fibres just like a piece of rope is made up of lots of smaller strands twisted together. Unlike the rope we can activate each of these strands at will (very over simplified description). Imagine lifting your leg in a single knee fold – activate too many muscles and your leg will come flying towards your head rather fast – too few and it’s not going to get off the ground.
So back to centring – if we are just lying on the floor in the relaxation position we don’t need many of the muscles to be working, turn onto your side and in order to keep your spine in it’s neutral (horizontal) alignment we need to activate some more of our core muscles. that’s what I’m talking about when I get you to have a little space under your waist :-).
So, this week it’s all about the core and recruiting just enough of those muscles to do what we want to do….