Stop Gripping Your Core. Here’s Why.

If you are a fitness coach, or have ever trained with one, it’s fair to assume you are familiar with gripping the core, or pulling your belly button towards your spine while you exercise, in an effort to supply your body with optimal stabilization. However, movement expert and founder of the Franklin Method, Eric N. Franklin, proposes a different strategy.  

According to Franklin, the key to strengthening the core lies not in holding it tightly while training, but allowing the diaphragm and muscles to move more naturally in unison. How can we do that? Deep breathing.

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When we inhale, the organs need to move away to allow the diaphragm to move down and help expand the lungs. As muscle tone increases, muscles resist the movement of the organs, resulting in the natural training of the core. However, the unnatural movement of gripping the core not only results in limited movement, but also leads to inefficient breathing.

We take around 20,000 breaths a day, most of which are shallow, causing undue stress and tension in our bodies. Since 80% of breathing energy comes from the diaphragm, the smarter focus is to breathe deeply and learn to coordinate lateral, medial, and transverse movements with our inhales and exhales. When we learn to synergize our stabilization, movement, and breathing, we are developing the habit of naturally working our core for maximum efficiency.

This simple adjustment to training sessions results in a stronger pelvic floor, more efficient breathing, and a powerful core that is better adapted to movement in every direction.

Jessica Notman