Connecting with your deep core is a process, getting many parts of your body working together for a strong anchor. The basis for much of it lies in how we breathe. If we have healthy breathing patterns and use the diaphragm well, it sets us up for connecting well with our core. Be sure to check out Part 1 in the blog and practice some healthy breathing patterns before moving on to this exercise. An added bonus is you might find some relaxation or released tension in your body as you practice it!
Let's start adding in the deep abdominals and pelvic floor to the breath. Place your fingers or thumbs about 1 inch inside your pointy hip bones, and feel for a gentle muscle contraction. As you exhale, contract this deep abdominal muscle by drawing your pointy hip bones closer together, imagining the muscle cinching your waist like a corset. The contraction you feel under your fingers should be a gentle tension, not a bulging muscle contraction. Practice this a few times with your exhale. Next, add the pelvic floor. These muscles are harder to find for some women. You might think of it as contracting the muscles to stop the flow of urine. Another cue is to tighten as if to prevent passing gas, and then bringing your tailbone and pubic bone togeter. Couple this with the exhale as well. Be sure to relax both muscle groups with your inhale.
This sequence can be added into your other core workouts, and make your crunches and planks safer for your body.
Having difficulty finding your deep abs and pelvic floor? Find a physical therapist to help you! Sometimes we need a lot of cues or hands-on help. Send me a message to see how we can work together.
Be sure to check back for future posts on healthy core!
*This content is intended as generalized information only, and is not a substitute for medical care.
Jill Heath is a licensed physical therapist and owner of She PT, LLC. She received a Doctorate of Physical Therapy and B.S. in Exercise Science from Northern Arizona University. During years of practice helping individuals of all ages recover from a variety of conditions, she developed a passion for working with women. She opened She PT, LLC with the purpose of meeting not only the unique physical needs of women, but also empowering women to take charge of their well-being by making care accessible.