I’ve been teaching Pilates for over 20 years and have had many clients with varieties of issues.
Over the years I’ve found that there are some people that have a hard time connecting their core and specifically, their deep abdominal muscles to their movements. Having a stable and strong core (or Powerhouse as Joseph Pilates called it) is mandatory for stabilizing the body when using arms and legs.
I recently encountered a client at Anchor Wellness Center that, while presenting as a strong and capable body, had begun to have issues with her back. After some PT sessions, it was determined that she was not aware that her abdominals/core were not doing their job to help keep her stable and working with her full efficacy.
On our first visit, I set up exercises to help introduce her to her deep abs. This first lesson showed us both how unconnected she was to her core. With each exercise, her hip flexors would try to overtake the work, and her back would begin to get involved and start to hurt. I tried some simple movements that have often been successful in the past, but in this case, she continued to not feel the work anywhere
except the muscles that were in the habit of already working for her.
After our initial lesson, she tried some of the lessons at home, when she came back for her second session, some small connections started to awaken. We still worked on exercises that were small
movements, and eventually throughout that second session, I could see that she was having an “aha” moment by feeling the work and the connection in and to her deep abs.
She has continued to work with me and become quite capable of firing up the appropriate core and
shoulder girdle muscles to help her with not only Pilates exercises, but her everyday routines. I don’t
think it can be overstated how IMPORTANT it is to our body’s health to find the core muscles and connect
to stabilize the body and prevent injury.