Everyone knows the importance of core muscles for stabilizing our spine. Let’s not forget that’s what your core’s function is: to keep the back safe and spine stable. We need the gluteal muscles involved to ensure the core succeeds and we attain healthy spinal posture. Doing an exercise like push-ups or planks, anything where you want to encourage the pattern of everything staying straight in your posture, core strength is critical. What’s not not often talked about is pelvic position.
The pelvis (“hips”) being below your waist, includes your sacrum down to the bottom of your spine. People run into trouble when they have their core tight, but they’re relaxed in their glutes so the tailbone sticks up, which ends up putting a lot of stress on the low back. That’s why you might get back pain if you’ve been doing a really long plank, or you’ve been fatiguing in a push-up.
Think of the bottom of the spine like a bell, where your pelvis hangs off the end of that spine; the spine may be straight, but if that bell is swinging, we put stress there at the lumbar spine (low back). It’s necessary to engage your glute muscles when you’re using your core. A neutral spine, core engaged, and glutes activated is the winning recipe for a healthy pattern in the push-up or plank. Check out some of the exercises we use to integrate the core in almost every movement we do at StraightLine.