‘Core stability’ is something that by now, we all believe we should have and most likely you still do not have enough of – neither do I.
The ‘core’ is believed to be anything from controlling muscles throughout the entire body, to stomach muscles, pelvic floor muscles, or perhaps a pink unicorn we dream of one day having the pleasure to meet... but no matter where you might think the elusive ‘core’ resides, the quest to build one’s ‘core’ or improve the stability or strength thereof, will never be sufficient in our existing framework. Unless we address our current perceptions, no ‘core’ will ever be good enough. Not because more will always be better but because the ‘core’ has been made out to be something it is not. The ‘core’ has been given an obscene amount of power – not in the human body but in societal beliefs.
Bear with me as I use the analogy of a car again. ‘Core stability’ can be seen as everything that limits or reduces movement or the likelihood thereof. We’ll be looking at the car’s brakes, locked doors and alarm system, an ignition that has not been started, a wheel clamp or the frightened driver doing 45km/h on the highway. Most of these things have their place and have real value but not in isolation or in overdrive.
By and large, societal focus over a few decades have been on activating the ‘core’ using small, subtle movements, typically very 1-directionally - Implying that before we realised how little we used these particular muscles, the others were used incessantly and without any measure of control! But most of us already spend our lives stuck behind desks or steering wheels, or in bed – we really don’t move much and when we do, expect the body to know how...? Who decided that further limitation and restriction to movement is needed? And how did they ever convince us that if we move on occasion, we should make sure it’s as little as possible!?
Whether your aim is a bikini body or freedom from back pain, our blind faith in ‘core stability’ and our ever-increasing critique of our own ‘core strength’ is the equivalent of fearfully pumping the brakes as you sit in your car with no means of starting it and ignoring a wheel clamp that’s firmly in place. There is no point in being concerned with controlling your movements before establishing movement. Anything before that is a lot of effort with absolutely no result.
In society’s current approach, we are likening our ability to safely drive from point A to B, by how hard we can pump those brakes in a locked garage. It simply will never be enough, EVER!
Let’s aim first to move, frequently, calmy and freely. Build on that to start adding control not because someone or something embarrassed you into believing that you’re substandard, but because your body made it clear that you’re now moving too much, too frequently or too freely… Your chassis and your brakes will thank you for it 😉
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