Why do I give patients “core” exercises?
January 2016

Recently I was asked to explain why I prescribe “core exercises”.First of all, I should explain that the “core” is no longer defined as merely the Transversus Abdominus; the muscle that wraps around our middle like a corset. Our bodies are way more complex, and to isolate engagement of a single muscle is near impossible.

Second of all, experts still do not agreement on which muscles make up the core.

I go along with the idea that the core involves all myofascial and ligamentous structures that cross the lumbopelvic-hip complex including the respiratory diaphragm and pelvic floor [fig. 1]. How some of these muscles contribute to functional movement can be more easily appreciated when visualised as kinetic chains or “sling systems” [fig. 2].

The timing and coordination of co-contractions produced by these muscles play a vital role in stabilising our joints. Especially, in preparation for efficient and coordinated limb movement. To ignore the efficiency of the core stabilizers opens us up to accelerated joint wear and tear (through uncontrolled movement), poor sporting performance, and potential injury as far down as the foot and ankle.

Next time I will discuss what in our daily lives exposes us to alterations in muscular behaviour.

December 2015

I have been working with the development squad at Lee Valley Athletics for 6 weeks. The development squad is made up of 30 talented sprinters and middle distance runners all dreaming of making it to the Rio 2016 Olympics. Their training involves more intensive cycles of endurance, strength, and plyometric programmes aimed at creating some of the fastest athletes in the world. The expectations on the athletes are high. Only those who prove the utmost determination and dedication to their sport will truly get the chance to qualify.Our job as therapists is to keep the physical stress to a minimum by relieving taught muscle, identifying and treating imbalances and reminding the athletes of the importance of nutrition and good quality sleep for repair and maintenance.

Some of you may be a few weeks into your training for the London Marathon in April 2016. Don’t underestimate the level of stress on your mind and body as we head into winter. Book an appointment with Camilla or one of our team for a bio mechanical check up and tailored treatment plan. Remember prevention is better than cure.