Proper core, neutral spine alignment or my Athletic Core Set Up (ACS) is the most important move you must master before begining any workout. Building pillar strength and keeping your core in great alignment as you are exercising is the key component professional and elite athletes know, master, and practice daily because it keeps them moving optimally and injury free. Plus, you’ll constantly work your core muscles 3-Dimensionally while targeting your front abdominals, your sides, and your lower back. Best of all, feel every exercise hit your deep lower abdominals that will weave you a beautiful, tight, new abdominal girdle. Below, I’ve given you my 3 simple, key points that will teach and train you to have proper core alignment.
1. The Athletic Core Set Up. I’m going to be giving you some vital cues to get you in the right position that will make all the difference in the world regarding the effectiveness of any program you may choose to perform. So take the time to set yourself up in proper core alignment for each exercise every time.
2. Alignment. Maintaining great form and proper core alignment will accelerate your results. Proper, neutral spine alignment is where your ears are stacked directly over your shoulder, hips, and knees. Then, pull and keep your shoulders down while lifting your breastbone high. Think about keeping equal tension between your front and backside. I call this “bracing” your core.
This leads to number 3 or a continuous, “soft” Kegel, which is unique to the Core Performance Methodology and is extremely important. A Kegel or Pelvic Floor Pull Up is a contraction of your pelvic floor muscles and transverse abdominus muscle, your true, deep core muscles, which are your bodies natural Abdominal Girdle. You can find and activate your pelvic floor muscles by stopping your urine mid-stream. Then, try to pull or zip up your pelvic floor muscles up and into your pelvic cavity.
I’d like you to try to do a Kegel continuously throughout every move. This will activate your natural Abdominal Girdle to fire non-stop, transforming the look of your entire midsection. Your transverse abdominus wraps around your entire torso. It’s the muscle that keeps your belly flat and gives you a strong back. You can feel your deep transverse muscle by placing your finger pads on your hip bone, then, slide your fingers inward about 2 inches.
Keep your fingers here to feel your transverse firing as you’re exercising. It will also keep you mind-body core-connected.
Think about trying to keep this set up during the day and when you are working out. At first it may seem challenging. Have faith, it will become easier, as mastery is simply repetition.