A woman relies on her core muscles for every part of her life, from youth to later years. These muscles help control all of her day to day living.
Folding laundry or sitting at a desk – every-day activities, even second nature you may think, but when doing these things on a regular basis and not using the correct posture and positions, we are likely to cause long term damage.
The spine holds all the bones in place and having a strong core will increase your overall strength and help the pelvic floor: The pelvic floor sits like a cradle inside the bony pelvis.
As an exercise teacher for more than 35 years, my mother, Rebbetzin Chaiky’s method of movement was based on working on these muscles. It was her belief that women who didn’t work on this area were missing the most important aspect of keep fit for women. She herself had suffered very badly in her 20’s from a bad back. She went to a specialist, and was told that if things didn’t improve within the next month she would need to go into the hospital and lay in traction. Her Doctor offered her one last piece of advice, The New York School of Ballet in Manhattan N.Y. had a specialist teacher who sometimes helped with back problems. My Mother went to this school and slowly she started to improve, so much so that after the first month there was a marked improvement. This is how Rebbetzin Chaiky found her vocation in life.
People who suffer from bad backs, prolapsed wombs, and most women’s ailments are missing the basic principles of movement.
So how do we do these exercises, when we can’t attend classes or use gyms?
Walking outside is very good starter if you use the correct method.
The first thing you need is to engage your core muscles. The breathing exercise below is one to be used in all the following examples.
The best way of making sure you are using the correct method is by first rounding your back, loosening all your tummy muscles and shaking yourself out. Then with your hands on your tummy, take a deep breath in and feel your tummy expand, hold it for the count of 4 then breathe out bringing in your stomach muscles. Bring your shoulders back without tensing them, and bring your navel in, this will make your core muscles active.
1. Take even strides and let your heel hit the ground first, then roll onto your toes. Always be aware of your core. When you feel like you are slacking in this area stop, re-engage your core and continue the walk. Moving your arms forward and back will help you exercise your upper body.
2. When washing dishes, use the same method as above to engage your core. You can also stand with your legs apart and do squats, as in the picture.
3. Sitting at a desk needn’t be an excuse to not work your inner muscles. I would recommend you get up once every hour and move around a bit. You can use your desk chair as a great tool for core exercise. Put your hands on the armrests, pull in your tummy, then sitting at the edge of the chair, feet, hip distance apart on the floor, stand up then come back to sitting position without actually sitting, repeat 3 times
4. Once again sitting on the edge of the chair, this time not holding the armrests, lift yourself up slowly, and come back down again without sitting, repeat 3 times
5. The last great exercise in this category is to lay on your back flat on the floor, bend your knees as in diagram, bring in your navel and lift your bottom off the ground halfway up. Squeeze your bottom in whilst tightening your stomach muscles, squeezing in to the count of 10. Repeat this exercise 3 times and start slowly increasing this number by 10 until you eventually reach 100.