The Importance of the Functional Core - Pilates
Pilates Teaser - Prior to lifting of the arms and legs, the deep myofascial system is activated to stabilize the TPC.
Joseph Pilates aptly named the core the “powerhouse” of the body.
The core, or the “powerhouse,” can also be referred to as the thoracopelvic canister (TPC). The TPC consists of the thorax (thoracic spine and ribcage), the lumbar spine, and the pelvis. Together, this osseous framework, along with the soft tissue structures (muscles, fascia, and ligaments), forms an anatomical canister. Unlike an actual rigid canister, however, optimal function necessitates that the TPC also be flexible.
A highly integrated system is required for developing and maintaining optimal function of the TPC. How efficiently we are able to functionally control our TPC depends on the coordination of three key systems: the nervous system, the osseoligamentous system, and the myofascial system. These systems are seamlessly coordinated to provide the stability and control required to produce efficient posture and movement.
Whether we are exercising, working, or performing activities of daily life, optimal function is predicated on the development of TPC (core) control within our body. Functional control of the TPC is developed by collaboration between the nervous, osseoligamentous, and myofascial systems. We increase our ability to maintain the efficient posture and movement required for life when these systems are functioning optimally— that is, the nervous system receives accurate information and thus provides the right command, the ligamentous system provides proper joint support, the deep myosfascial system pre-activates to stabilize and control the joints, and the superficial myofascial system adds higher levels of control and movement.
Efficient posture and movement can only be achieved when there is balance between the two myofascial systems - deep and superficial. We should be able to preferentially activate the deep myofascial system to provide joint stability and then recruit the superficial system to create additional stability as required and develop optimal movement patterns. During our Pilates training, we should always strive for balance within our myofascial systems. Balance creates the proper amounts of stabilizing joint compression and decompression required for performing lower-level activities (such as maintaining good posture, walking, and bending) as well as controlling higher-level activities (such as lifting and sports). When we achieve balance between the two systems, we create smooth, integrated, and coordinated posture and movement—that is, we are developing a strategy for health and vitality.
Here Karen Vizueta demonstrates some core awareness techniques to increase power and strength;
Increase Strength and Power with these Core Awareness Techniques - Karen Vizueta
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