In the final video of our 6 week overhead mobility series, Justin utilizes an earthquake bar. In the video (here), you will notice how unstable the earthquake bar can be. To counter this, the user (you) must have a strong and stable core. Have you ever noticed that some people at the gym seem so controlled while squatting, and others appear wobbly or unsteady? This difference often refers to Dynamic stability. Simply put, it's the ability of the body to maintain balance and control during dynamic movements. Such as using an earthquake bar. You’ve probably also heard your Personal Trainer or our Therapists at Arise Physical Therapy yelling "engage your core!" It's a common cue, but what does it actually mean, and what does it have to do with dynamic stability?
What are they? Firstly, dynamic stability involves the ability of the body to stabilize and control movement in multiple planes of motion, which requires coordination and activation of the muscles and joints throughout the body.Dynamic stability is important for a variety of activities, including sports, fitness, and everyday movements. Without adequate dynamic stability, the body is more prone to injury, as well as decreased performance and efficiency during movement.. Secondly, your core muscles include your abdominals, back muscles, and pelvic floor muscles. When you engage your core, you activate these muscles to create a stable base for your body. This is important not just for exercises that specifically target your core, but also for any movement that requires stability.
How are dynamic stability and engaging your core related? Well, when you engage your core, you're essentially creating a strong foundation for your body to work from. This helps to improve your dynamic stability, which in turn can improve your overall balance and coordination. For example, let's say you're performing the earthquake bar exercise. If you don't engage your core, you might find that you're wobbling or feeling off-balance as you lower down and come back up. But if you take the time to engage your core before you begin the squat, you'll be creating a strong base for your body to work from. This can help you maintain good form and stay stable throughout the entire movement.
How can you engage your core? One simple way is to Take a deep breath in, filling your belly with air, and then exhale slowly, imagining that you're pulling your belly button toward your spine. . This activates your deep core muscles and helps to create a stable base. You can also try engaging your pelvic floor muscles (the muscles you use to stop the flow of urine) and your back muscles to create even more stability. Incorporate core-specific exercises into your routine, such as planks, side planks, and bird dogs. These exercises help strengthen your core muscles and improve your ability to engage them during movement.
In Summary In summary, engaging your core is important for dynamic stability, injury prevention, and everyday activities. By focusing on your breath and incorporating core-specific exercises into your routine, you can improve your core strength and stability, allowing you to move with greater control and efficiency. So next time you hear the cue to "engage your core," remember the important role it plays in your overall health and fitness.
Watch week 6 of our series below. You'll see what exercises dynamic stability and engaging your core can help you to complete.