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Core Breath - Advanced Strength Training 201 & The Upshot

  • Strength 201- Performance benefits of core breath

Core breath control improves pelvic stability control. Once it becomes mastered through movement dynamics it can be applied to advanced strength exercise training for improved results! When performing a set of 15 L/R pistol squats (1 legged squats with full ROM) on a BOSU ball assisted by side bars, I was tiring by 8 reps. Cueing core breath and PFM made the reps less difficult and I had a noticeable increase in strength. That is incredible!

Not so unpredictably, as with the 101 of seated core breath it is the release that is the most difficult with advanced movements. We engage the core during exercise and when intensity and difficulty increase it can become hypertonic, resulting in a weaker PFM contraction, often cued from the transverse. A weaker PFM contraction results in less strength and increased difficulty. When we release the PFM the contraction has more ROM and is stronger, resulting in improved performance. Excellent! Do not forget the 101’s as you apply core breath to exercise programs!

*It begs the questions: are men more connected to their PFM release than women, and does that contribute to their much stronger PFM contraction?

  • Summary

Pre and postnatal clients are golden because they master core breath. Core breath improves core function with synergy and therefore supports exercise. It can be difficult to carve out the time to train core breath with clients who do not have a pelvic floor focus, but we are remiss if we do not incorporate this functional form into every client’s program. Spending a few minutes each session to slowly cover the exercise is simple to do. My experience is that once a client notices increased stability control and increased strength they are fully onboard.

The focus is invariably on the release of the pelvic floor prior to the contraction. This seems consistent from the very 101’s of seated core breath to very advanced exercise application. Full ROM increases the strength of the PFM contraction and subsequent core engagement.

Core Breath and its application is a ladder of mastery. Only by refining breath and form control in static positions can we apply the control to support the dynamics of Pfilates, and then exercise. Considering our days are filled with meaningful activities which require this support, the mastery of core breath is a tremendous investment in fitness and homeostasis. It should have a place in every client’s program.

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