Why training basic core stability in alignment is so important

19 maart 20195 min reading time

Have you ever wondered what the best way to train your core stability is? What movement is good for your spine and what movement is not? In a world with so many sources of information, maybe it is a good idea to first look at how to best build a foundation. Whether wanting to increase your movement quality or heal an injured back, in this blog post, I will explain how the concept of moving in alignment will allow you to build real strength in your core and provide you with excellent back health.

The question is, does all movement equally contribute to our core stability? The answer is, of course, no. We can have poor quality movement which causes too much unwanted pressure through our joints, and, similarly, we can have good quality movement which decreases unwanted pressure in our joints. We want to go for the good quality movement which lessens unwanted pressure at the joints and, in turn, allows us to explore our full movement capacity with as little resistance as possible.

What does it mean to train in alignment?

Training in alignment is when we move with our vertebrae stacked in accordance with a neutral spine theory and make use of our ball and socket joints to generate power. This type of movement is a way in which the body moves naturally with little resistance and more protection for our joints. We develop this type of movement, for example, when we start crawling and walking as children and it becomes ingrained in us when we learn to run and jump or throw things. Simply put, we learn to fix our centre, which allows us to use our limbs efficiently.

The role of core stability

There are two reasons why we would like to ensure a stable core. The first reason is to protect the spine, and the second is to enable movement at our limbs. We use the muscles along the spine to provide us with the stiffness needed in the core to allow for the leg to move or arm to swing, the best example being running. When we run efficiently, we lock the shoulders down onto the hips to limit rotation of the shoulders with respect to the hips. Moving in alignment allows for excellent accuracy, power, and speed of the limb, which leads to in good-quality movement. You can learn more about back stability in this blog post.

Why train in alignment?

When we are young children, we learn to move in alignment. The brain signals to the core (i.e., the trunk) to act as a fixed point from which movement originates. But as we age and become sedentary, we lose this program of communication between the brain and the necessary muscles which fix our trunk. This leads us to compensate by using the wrong muscle groups, resulting in poor posture, unwanted movement within the spine, and possible injury.

In order to prevent or correct this common problem, we should train in alignment. When we do that, we practice movements that emphasize the communication between the brain and the core. This strengthens the movement pattern that allows us to generate powerful and safe movement. For these reasons, training in alignment should always be your first stage of rehabilitating a problem or building strength.