Engage/Suck it in/Belly button touch your back: A lesson on the core

Yesterday I learned how to make tummy fat obsolete!
What’s that, you say!?
Well, in my excitement, I forgot to mention the lesson my Physical Therapist friend/coworker taught me (that you will want to know once you hear it!). I was so excited about my bicep weight but I learned something far more important!
Get to the point, you say?!
On Saturday in spin she sat behind me and watched me get all distracted, lazy, flabby, and loosey-goosey! She started to get my attention as class ended: “hey on Tuesday we are gonna work on your core! You have got to learn to engage!” Our friend next to us said “hey be nice! She doesn’t know:) it’s her pt brain coming out!” And so I said, “no really, it’s ok I know I need it! So thanks!” I mentioned I try to do planks or ab workouts but I just don’t realize how easily distracted and forgetful I get during a run or other parts of the workout or class. She said to me, “you are doing enough! You work out but in order to get those left handles you have got to engage your core the entire time!”
So yesterday she showed me on the spin bike all the positions and all that I did wrong and how to correct it. It finally hit me, how I should remember to engage not only in my runs or when I lift or hike up, but even walking around for my posture and back’s sake!
Spin was actually harder and more challenging and body pump was tough. I felt so thin and strong, so slender but so focused!
One of the things you have to start with is turn in the transverse abdominis, like a pelvic tilt or thrust (“Elvis moves his pelvis” is all I can think about)!
Don’t forget to breathe while you are sucking it in. This is hard! But you can do it!
The entire 50min. Class I protected my back by hardly moving my upper body- it was mostly all in my legs and core keeping me more balanced.
I had a professor in college start English every morning with “let’s center ourselves.” We helped her clean her cat house when she left and became a nun. She was a unique lady, and her number one lesson? It works for so many things.
My friend showed me that in third position (your hands are loosely (not tense) gripping the upper part of the handle bars), not only keep your back straight/flat like in a plank (don’t arch or hike or hunch!) but jut your back and hips way back- like the small of your backside can barely graze the nose of the seat but when you start arching and getting all loose, the hips might touch side to side on the seat and that will be a reminder to engage.
I came up with my own acronym to help me:)
What are some tips that help you? I wish I could afford a Pilates trainer but this was so valuable! If only I could remember it every second of the day:)


2 thoughts on “Engage/Suck it in/Belly button touch your back: A lesson on the core

  1. Hahah this post made me laugh out loud…if my personal training clients had a dollar for every time they heard me shout “Keep that core engaged!” “bellybutton back to the spine!” they could probably pay for training sessions for the rest of their lives. Over time it really does become more natural.

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