athenafit barre studio

Our Core: Tips to Building a Stronger Core

athenaSCIENCESara BalchComment

Why is information on the core so important to know at the barre? After a long day, sometimes it can be hard to focus on anything but the music. Or what is for supper after class. Or what to wear to the weekend game. But by using a couple of easy to remember tips, you can make your core work stronger and longer.

The core is a huge focus at athenafit.  Ideally every move at the barre incorporates some aspect of fun as well as the core!  Since the core is involved in almost every movement of the human body, it’s only natural to make it as active as possible. It stabilizes, protects, reinforces, coordinates, mobilizes, and strengthens so many areas of our bodies. Most of the time people instantly think of the abdominals, but they are just parts of many muscles working in harmony.

The top of the core is made up of the diaphragm, a muscle that is super important in respiration and posture. It plays an important role to our core, which is why many times the instructors will cue breathing in barre postures. The bottom of our core is made from the pelvic floor muscles.  We don’t immediately think of strengthening the pelvic floor, but these muscles attach to the pelvis and are critical to the overall strength of the core. The front of the core is made up of the rectus abdominis, the transverse abdominis, and the internal and external obliques. The transverse abdominis and obliques also support the sides and back line of the core due to their attachments. Lastly, there are many muscles which support the core from the back including the erector spinae and gluteals.

saras core plank pic.jpg

TIPS to engage your core:

  1. Remember to not hold your breath. Consciously inhale and exhale with every move at the barre and on the mat.
  2. Cue yourself in every pose - even upper body work such as bicep curls - to draw your belly button into your spine. 

These two suggestions will increase the work of your diaphragm and your transverse abdominis: two important components to a strong, stable core. Be on the lookout for a separate blog that discusses the pelvic floor and barre during pregnancy!

Just like the core is at the very center of an apple, the core of the human body is at the very center of function! Mindfulness of the various components of the core can help reinforce great posture, strength, and breathing effectiveness…so invite your core to every part of barre!

/sara-b