In today’s PT Intel, Joshua Garcia discusses how training your core has benefits far beyond just getting a six pack — it can also help keep your back healthy. Joshua is a personal trainer and founder of Unification Point in Denver, Colorado. You can find him online by clicking here.
Aesthetics finally meet function; exercise science is discovering more and more benefits for core exercises and there application to stabilization of the spine – so much so that it is getting its own focus and name in exercise programs and classes. With continual discoveries of human anatomy functioning as an integrated unit to perform movements, the discovery sheds new light on how exercise programming is taking over in preventive care.
Because the core is so often associated with the rectus abdominis musculature, (the six pack) fitness enthusiasts have been proactive in working out this muscle with spinal flexion exercises, such as the crunch and sit up. The popularity of these exercises, improper lifting techniques and seated professions of global work culture contribute to excessive and unnecessary back pains. Exercises dominated by excessive spinal flexion contribute costs up to 64 billion annually of the attributed health care industry, according to NIOSH (1).
Exercise scientists have long known the benefits of comprehensive core exercises, which can include life extension and pain management, they also have approaches to maximize utilization of the transverse abdominis (TVA), which is the first muscle to fire upon all human movement. Development of techniques such as abdominal hollowing and bracing contribute to the support of the spine since the TVA wraps around the body like a natural corset and connects directly to the spine.
“Not many people know of ways in which to test and perform TVA activation”, said Joshua Garcia HPMS (Health Productivity and Management Specialist), founder and creator of Unification Point in Denver. “Much like any movement of the body it first begins with the brain to transmit the signal, many times the difficult part is not receiving the signal, but in performing the command, much like any movement it can be learned and only gets better with continual practice.”
Health care professionals are discovering instead of prescriptions for acute and chronic back pain or chiropractic work educating clients on correcting their functional movement patterns in life and working on core conditioning individuals can increase recovery, prevent and improve pain of the back and symptoms on a curative level.
In addition to recovery, prevention and control of symptoms core exercise benefits extend far beyond the core helping to coordinate movements in sports performance, activities of daily living and even eliminate orthopedic compensatory stress along the joints of the body. In fact, real physical intelligence stems from the ability in effectively transferring energy throughout the body.
There are literally thousands of reasons to incorporate core-conditioning exercises into your life, but maybe none more important than the stability of the spine, which stores the body’s communication highway the central nervous system. The TVA intuitively demonstrates this, being the first muscle to fire upon all human movement.