Are you tired of hearing about my dance class charades? After a summer of getting in shape and losing weight, with Wii Fit and Ea SPORTS Active. I have actually started taking ballet, modern, and hip hop classes, with lots of young whippersnappers, and a few amazing women my age and older. It’s my first serious dance class in 15 years, and it’s really fun, as well as challenging.
Especially with the ballet class, I am really realizing the importance of core muscles to the function of the rest of the body! I got into pointe shoes for the first time yesterday, and the instructor was continually encouraging us to engage/tighten the core. When I was able to tighten the core muscles, my legs seemed stronger, balance improved; I felt empowered and strong, and my breathing was even more effective.
So I think if we’re going to talk total fitness, we have to include core strength.
According to BeginnerTriathlete.com,
Core muscles are composed of the abdominal muscles (superficial and deep), the lumbar region, or lower back, and the thoracic and cervical region of the spine (mid and upper, respectively). These areas serve to provide stability, support, and a solid base for the rest of the body to function maximally. Think of a strong tight core as a solid foundation through which power generated in one region of the body is transferred to another.
Beginner Triathlete has some great exercises for engaging your core, and he even shows pictures if you’re not sure what the descriptions mean. Lots of core exercises are included in the Wii Fit Strenth Training, Hula Hoop, and EA SORTS Active. When you are doing the Balance exercises on the Wii Fit, try to tuck and tighten your glutes (booty), pull in your lower abdominals, and straighten your spine. A good way to lengthen your spine is to imagine you are pulling a string out of the top of your head. You can also rise your arms over your head, them slowly lower, keeping your spine elongated.
Here is another informative video I found from Pilates Center of Bend, Oregon talking about the core and how to engage those muscles. Of course, always consult your doctor before starting a fitness program
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