You are unique from any other person who needs to build their core. You grew a baby in your belly and birthed that baby either from your vagina or tummy. That amazing feat means that there are many factors to consider in safely apply functional specific movements to restore and strengthen your main stability and transferring system – the core.
When we are pregnant, we were not as able or effective in utilising our core cylinder as we were used to. We can get it back. We need to work at ‘waking up’ the muscles in the core, letting them know we want to use them again.
It’s all about muscle memory. We all learnt to use our core as a baby, to help us roll onto our tummy from our back. Many of us learnt to skate, ride a scooter and bike, and climb in the park and perhaps even went to judo, ballet, trampoline or gym class. Throughout our life many of us have used our core with various activities that we enjoyed. Hobbies such as netball, canoeing, snowboarding, skiing, surfing, yoga, hiking, climbing, roller skating, dance classes and the gym.
At points in our lives, we have used our core to help us do what we needed to do, and in doing that have built in a physiological blue print that helps our body remember how to utilise our muscles, more quickly than it did for us to roll over, crawl and walk.
“Woman’s Magazine quotes the following “Muscle memory stems from your body’s learning not just how to perform a task, but also how to break down muscle tissue and then repair and rebuild it,”. “That physiological knowledge lets you come back from injury, surgery, and even pregnancy faster, easier, and often better than before”.
When you learn something new, whether it’s how to do a single leg squat or how to surf, your brain fires up all the right nerves to the muscles, to help you carry out the movements. Once your muscle fibres get the instruction from your brain to move, they start sending messages back. Movement activates sensors known as proprioceptors in your muscles, tendons, and joints. These sensors continually give feedback to your central nervous system about where your body is in space, so it knows what muscles to fire next. You have a continuous feedback loop from your brain to your muscles and back.
Your brain creates pathways through your central nervous system, and movements become automatic, a memory built into the muscle. The more you use these pathways and work at the exercises to strengthen and build your core, the easier it will be to lock in those muscle memory pathways, and improving your function, stability and strength. It’s why you remember to ride a bike, even if it has been years since you last did it. All you need is to practice, practice, practice, to get better.
You need to practice realigning your body on a daily basis and during exercise to optimise core function. Learn how to fire up those connections to your muscles and improve not only your physical fitness, but also your metabolism, stress levels and immune system, making you a better functioning mama.