Why a Strong Core Rocks

November is the time of year we are filled with gratitude… that we survived Halloween, another election, and got to set our clocks back for Daylight’s Savings, woo hoo! It’s also about giving thanks around the table for our family, friends and fitness– but in our case, we call it PLANKSGIVING!!

That’s right. This month we celebrate the almighty CORE and give thanks (and plenty of planks) for all the amazing perks a healthy, strong, Pilates-pumped core can bring to our lives everyday. If you haven’t heard, or need a serious Reformer reminder, here it goes:

​Core Definition

Your ‘core’ is your midsection–the powerhouse–the center of your body that houses your deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine. When you work out your core and keep it strong, your entire body benefits.

Planks A lot

Plank poses (‘the push up-and-hold’) are perfect core conditioners because they integrate your trunk-pelvis-shoulder girdle areas– the top trio tighteners– for flat and flexible fitness. It’s considered one of the go-to core positions as you’re engaging your abs, back and core, but also enhancing glutes and hamstrings. You can also vary plank poses but the key is always the same–endurance and holding tight. In no time you’ll see and feel incredible results!


Benefits of a Strong Core

When your core is weak your entire body is more likely to experience fatigue, weight gain and injury due to muscle loss and atrophy. Basically a major buzz kill for your bod. When you start strengthening your core, it’s amazing what happens:

  • Six-pack Surprise: Core conditioning paves the way for a flat belly and toned abs. The more you work your core, the tighter this section becomes.
  • Less Pain, More Gain: A stronger core leads to a stronger back–you’re going to start to wonder where all those aches and pains went! Not only will you enhance flexibility, movement, even dance better, but tightening your core helps you maintain body balance essential for optimizing health.
  • Stand Taller: Core training with Pilates is geared for building long, lean muscles; you’ll not only be improving your balance and posture, strength and flexibility, but promoting lengthening, too. Remember, strong abs and back muscles are important for everyday tasks, not just at the studio!​
  • Mind is Matter: When you’re investing your energy into a work out that’s working, you feel great!! Core training can be a butt-buster (it really is) and there’s nothing better than seeing those ripped results. Positive feedback always feeds itself, it’s a cycle of motivation that flows into all areas of your life!

Core training is not about killing your abs the first time out, it’s about leaning in and learning those techniques that will bring you the best results. We’ve all been to the gym pumping weights and pushing reps that focus on building short, bulky muscles–and lots of potential for injury, too.

Pilates focuses on efficient training, quality over quantity, with the hard-core goal of overall body improvement. It’s a mind-body work out, with added benefits of proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment, and concentrating on smooth and flowing movements. You’ll not only learn how to control and master the movement in your work out, you’ll see optimum results in reduced time and gain the muscle tone and flexbility you’ve always wanted. Keep it up and it’s yours to keep!!

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Planksgiving at Mantra: This month we give thanks to strong cores everywhere with our mighty Mantra “Plankathon”!!! Join the ranks with planks at all three studios– Tampa, Sarasota and OC– sign ups ready to roll. Speaking of rolls–we’re your home away from kitchen for some Megaformer pre-holiday classes and studio specials, guaranteed to de-stress and delight. Check out schedules and upcoming festive fit fun… Happy Turkey Day from all of us to all of you!!

Britta Wilder is a writer based in San Clemente. With a background in film and journalism, she is currently working on a novel. She gives planks everyday for Mantra.

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