by Julie Seibt

yoga stretchWe’ve all it heard it, in the gym, the yoga studio, perhaps evens a tai chi class “tuck your tailbone under”. It gives the feeling of a flat lower back and engages the core – but it actually creates tension, inhibits core strength and does nothing to stabilize the spine. Tucking can lead to back pain, SI joint pain and tight hips.

When we “tuck”, the rectus abdominis engages (muscle responsible for the wash-board look). This is a superficial muscle that has little to do with the deeper muscles responsible for core stability. When we depend too heavily on the muscles closer to our surface, we inhibit the power of our stabilizer muscles.

Try this: stand with your feet slightly apart and tuck your tailbone under. Maintaining the tuck, widen your stance. Then do the same without the tuck. Notice where you hold tension. Notice the ability to move your legs.

So, how to approach exercise and promote core stability? Allow for a neutral spine, with your natural curvatures. Approach your exercises with a relaxed abdomen and easy breath, allowing the “core” to emerge as you move.

If you need some help applying these ideas to your body and your activities, come see me.

Have a fabulous summer,
Julie Seibt