Core stability greatly improves performance and function as well as reduces the risk of injury for a performer. Physiotherapy exercises for core stability are a great way to gain strength in your core. Whether you require static or dynamic exercises, these core exercises will improve balance, speed, and timing during your performance and make the experience more rewarding.
Core muscles can be divided into two main groups… postural and dynamic. The difference in these two kinds of muscles is that postural muscles deal with core stability and posture whereas dynamic muscles deal with movement. Both kinds of muscles are important as postural muscles need the dynamic muscles for movement and the dynamic muscles need a stable platform
In and of itself the spine is a very unstable area. It is a length of vertebrae stacked on top of each other and wedged in between the pelvis. The lower part of the spine needs to allow movement but at the same time needs to provide stability for the rest of the body. This is where the core muscles come in. Without these muscles there would be no stability in the rest of the spine and it would be impossible to move or stand up even. Physiotherapy of the core muscles provides an increase in core muscle strength and gives added support to the spine, as well as giving greater movement to the core of the body and improving performance all around.
When most people hear the words “core muscles”, they automatically assume that they are talking about the abdominals, specifically the deep abdominals that surround the spine. Although abdominals are a major part of the core, they are not all that the core is made of. Core muscles also include the hip abductors, the hip flexors, and the gluteal muscles. A well rounded physiotherapy exercise regime will include all of these muscles as well as the abdominals.
Training core muscles uses different methods based on the various needs of the individual in training. Whether the person needs only stability or stability as well as contraction all factor in to what kind of exercises should be utilized. Core muscles are stabilizing muscles. They need to stabilize the body all day every day, whether the person is engaging in sports or not. Therefore a lot of physiotherapy for the core muscles is designed to keep the spine in the neutral S shape regardless of the activity the person is engaging in.
Studies have shown that people who have low back pain and weaker core muscles experience something that causes their core muscles to switch off so to speak. Weak muscles are directly linked to lower back pain, but strong core muscles are known to reduce stress in the lower back and provide overall stability. Athletes especially find this to be true as increased core strength greatly increases their performance levels while decreasing the pain they experience during recovery.
Weak core muscles can cause a loss in the desired curve of the spine during both static and dynamic positioning, but strong core muscles increase the balance and stability of the spine and improve posture; thus reducing back injuries and pain
Sit ups and crunches do help with core stability and strength, but abdominals are only a small part of the big muscle group that surrounds the spine. It is a good idea to get an assessment of your own particular needs then focus on all the muscles in the core region… not just the abdominals. Core stability is very important, and it will make a lifetime of difference.