Core Strength

DSC_8674“Core Strength” is the hottest thing around and everyone wants it! Why wouldn’t you? If you have it, it means you have strong protective belly and lower back muscles and it usually means you got a flat, defined tummy. So…everyone wants core strength, and Pilates is the best way to gain it.

Core strength, what is it and why do we need it? The core is the deep, protective muscles of the abdominals, mid and lower back. This is where your body’s power, control, and balance comes from when doing any movement including walking, standing, sitting, or exercising. Core strength reduces our risk of pain and injuries, helps women with delivering babies, and it corrects your posture and alignment. Most people who complain of low back, find it’s the result of weak core muscles. Once their core is strong, back pain usually dissipates.

So, how do you get it? By engaging the muscle to develop and make them stronger. The best way to build core strength is to lie on the floor, with your arms by your side and your knees bent, then find neutral pelvis. (neutral pelvis can be found by letting your spine fall into the floor naturally. Now “push” your pelvis away from you slightly so you have a small space between your lower back and floor. It should feel like your balancing on the two “knotty” bones of your hips.) Next you want to engage your muscles.

First think of sinking your belly button to your spine and keep squeezing, but don’t hold your breath, continue to breathe naturally. Now you want to engage your pelvic floor or transverse abdominis. You do this by “Kegeling” or think of it as stopping the flow of urine. You should feel like your holding your bladder and sucking in your belly. 🙂 Ladies think of lying on your bed zipping up a pair of jeans that don’t fit. (We all know we’ve had to do this before!) Do 8-10 reps and hold them for 5-8 seconds to start. Try to do these twice a day as you build strength you can hold the exercise for longer or do more reps. Practice while sitting in the car at a stop light, while sitting at the computer, or while standing cooking dinner. Try to remind yourself in every task you do throughout the day and in no time you’ll have core strength!

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About Farm, Foodie and Fitness

Kelly Roberts is a Healthy Living Advocate. She is the owner and CEO of Beach Pilates and Wellness and Farm Foodie Fitness. She is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and received her training from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York City. Fueled by passion, she founded her holistic health practice, Farm Foodie Fitness. She educates and teaches her clients and the community the life changing benefits of nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle. Her practice consists of corporate and private clients from all across the country. Kelly is also the owner of Pilates on the Beach in Ocean City, Maryland and Bethany Beach, Delaware. She offers classes out on the beach for locals and visitors from May to September. She is a Certified Pilates instructor by world renowned Body Arts and Science International. BASI Pilates ®. For the past ten years, she has specialized in Pre and Post-Natal, athletes, rehabilitation, and clients with chronic illness. Kelly also offers private one-on-one sessions, as well as semi-private sessions. Kelly first discovered Pilates twelve years ago after a serious car accident left her with debilitating back and neck pain. She incorporates the Pilates method into her teaching and daily practice to maintain movement, a healthy lifestyle, and to live pain free. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Salisbury University with a concentration in Mass Media. Her passion for nutrition and food lead her to Alissa Cohen, where she studied to become a Certified Raw Chef. She enjoys incorporating raw foods into her diet and sharing her knowledge with her clients, friends, and family. She offers private and group cooking classes, food demos, and has also been a private chef to a number of families. Also a Certified Master Gardener, she understands the importance of fresh, local foods, and knowing where your food comes from. Kelly offers gardening knowledge, advice, and hands on training through community gardens. She also teaches elementary children the benefits of nutrition and how growing your own food through edible school yards. Kelly is also a published author; her fiction novel, "The Road to Chianti" and her summer and winter cookbooks, "Farm Foodie Fitness Homegrown.” She has been featured in Mind Body Green, Charleston Home Magazine, and many other publications. Kelly recently released her first fitness DVD "Beach Pilates and Wellness, Pilates Mat Workout." She also has a successful health, nutrition, fitness, and organic gardening blog. Make sure to check it out! When Kelly is not running businesses she's chasing her two little ones. Contact Kelly to book seminars, demonstrations, book signings, or speaking engagements.

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