Every day, we’re surrounded by photos of six-pack abs and flat stomachs, and magazines seem to have an endless parade of articles on “beat belly flab” and “bikini-ready abs.” But while it might be nice to have an aesthetically pleasing midsection, your core is about much more than looks.
Core strength helps you in significant ways, every day and in nearly every movement. It’s at the center of how you reach, stretch, lift, and bend. Without adequate core strength, timing and coordination, you may be putting your body at risk for pain and chronic problems.
Also important to note is that your “core” isn’t just your abs. Although they’re in the mix, your core also includes your pelvis, lower back, and even your diaphragm, which is a sheet of internal muscle that’s important for respiration.
When you build appropriate strength throughout your core, it creates significant benefits:
Injury prevention: When you can move efficiently, it doesn’t load up one part of your body or cause certain muscles to take all the weight. Your back, shoulders, and knees aren’t being overtaxed just because your core lacks stability and strength.
Stronger back: There is so much back pain these days that it’s been called an epidemic. Apart from headaches, back pain is the leading cause of missed work days. Plus, there’s a ripple effect as the pain lowers your energy levels, disrupts sleep, affects mood and causes other problems. With a stronger, smarter core, you have a much lower risk of chronic back pain.
Better balance: As we age, there are many factors that affect balance, including eye and ear issues, medication side effects, joint health, and perceptual challenges. When balance is decreased, it can cause fall risk and other serious problems. But training the core can help to address these challenges and keep you on track as you age.
One of the best ways to increase core strength is through Pilates, which focuses on core stabilization and control in order to prevent injury and optimize function. To achieve these outcomes, Viverant has developed eVolution℠, a distinctive system that combines Pilates and physical therapy to harness the best of each.
For more information on eVolution, contact us to set up an assessment and consultation.
The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.
Please consult your health care provider, or contact Viverant for an appointment before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. Viverant shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site.
Did you know the average adult is sedentary for 64% of the time they are awake? All that sitting can lead to gluteal amnesia which is when your body forgets how to activate the gluteal muscles properly. Want to know if you have gluteal amnesia and learn some exercises to reverse it? Download The Glutorial below!
Pilates is one of the most powerful and effective ways to speed injury recovery, reduce the risk of chronic issues, and optimize performance—but only if you’re doing Pilates correctly.
The technique focuses on controlled movements that build strength and balance through better alignment and proper core integration, which is one of the reasons it’s become so popular. There are plenty of Pilates DVDs, YouTube videos, group classes, and hybrid approaches (like PiYo, which combines Pilates and yoga) and it’s likely to remain in demand for years to come.
But Pilates is not like Zumba, where you can just follow along and do fairly well by mimicking a series of movements. The practice has a significant amount of nuance that requires extensive training for teachers and other practitioners. Here are three ways that people tend to do Pilates incorrectly:
Improper stabilization: In Pilates, core stability is key, and bringing stabilization to your center allows for movements that are effective and connected. If you’re not sure how to stabilize properly, you risk putting strain on your back, neck, and other joints.
Lack of control: One of the biggest aspects of Pilates is slow, controlled movements that allow you to feel what’s happening in your body. Often times people rush through the movements using momentum instead of precise, consciously-controlled movement, causing them to miss the benefit of Pilates. When that happens, you don’t get the control you need for proper form.
Selective implementation: Pilates is a system that’s designed to bring your whole body into alignment, allowing your natural strength and flexibility to be fully accessed. When you choose just one or two “exercises” from the Pilates system, you’re reducing the impact that a whole series can bring. Even worse, you may be improperly focusing on just one part of your body at the expense of another area, missing an opportunity to correct what's wrong.
When these problems begin, it can have the opposite effect of what you’re seeking—instead of getting stronger and more efficient, you risk injury and could be setting yourself up for long-term negative outcomes.
Making sure that you’re following the detailed instructions of someone trained in both Pilates and the body’s movement patterns is hugely useful, and can have considerable benefits for your health, now and into the future.
To offer clients more meaningful outcomes in injury recovery, performance optimization, and injury prevention, Viverant has developed eVolution℠, a distinctive system that combines Pilates and physical therapy to harness the best of each.
Behind ankle sprains and plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis is ranked third as the most common complaint among athletes. Achilles tendon tears and ruptures are also becoming more frequent among athletes, weekend warriors and the elderly. The Achilles tendon is one of the longest tendons in the body, it attaches to the calf muscles and extends down to the heel bone, it is used for almost all physical activity. Achilles tendonitis, tears, ruptures and other Achilles-related injuries can be caused by several different factors.
Here are our quick tips to reduce the chance of an Achilles tendon injury:
Although each client will have specific goals and a tailored treatment plan, every eVolution track begins the same way: with a CoreScore℠ assessment.
The CoreScore gives us an idea of how you use your body during everyday tasks and exercises, including how you integrate your glutes, core, and trunk muscles into movements.
This isn’t a fitness test—don’t fear a return of those old middle-school gym days of crunches and pull-ups. Instead, the CoreScore consists of 10 whole-body exercises where the physical therapist will assess your performance of these exercises. Your outcome on each exercise is used as a powerful teaching tool to start to correct and restore healthy movement patterns.
The CoreScore will be retaken after every 6th visit in order to show you your progress and to continue to tailor your eVolution treatment for maximum benefit. Many clients gain significant insight from just their first CoreScore assessment, and they’re able to better grasp how weakness in one part of the body—particularly in their core muscles—may be leading to difficulties in other areas.
Although the CoreScore is considered a starting point, it’s a powerful kickoff to a results-oriented system. By knowing where you are now, you can understand where you have to go, and what it will take to get there.
Want a free CoreScore assessment? Download our eVolution whitepaper and you'll find a free CoreScore voucher inside!
Dear PT Pete,
I have knee replacements in both legs and scar tissue in one knee. My replacements are sound. I want to lift heavier weights at the gym to retain my muscle mass, but don't know if the downside of heavy leg lifting would wear my knee replacements out early. I am in my 60’s very fit and have lifted for 30+ years. Can I lift heavy?
- Jo from Boise
Thanks Jo! It is very important to keep up with good muscle tone and strength for the health of your knees, but that can be accomplished without having to lift heavy weights. Lifting too heavy can put unwanted stress on your knees and other joints. Ideally, weight lifting with a goal of 10-15 reps until fatigue is safe. The high-intensity, low repetition max approach is not ideal for any joint on your body after a certain age. Please consult with your surgeon if you want to know the specific weight limit for your lifting program. As with
Pete Garber is Viverant's co-founder and resident Physical Therapist. What questions do you have for PT Pete?
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Our newest system, eVolution, is changing the focus of treatment by infusing the best of Pilates and physical therapy together. This powerful combination's goal is to address, eliminate and prevent deficiencies limiting your body from reaching its maximum physical potential.
For a simple guide to how eVolution works and the benefits eVolution offers, download our infographic below.
Both Pilates and physical therapy can be powerful ways to build strength, speed recovery, and prevent future injuries. That’s why Viverant has developed eVolution℠, a distinctive system that combines the best of both to harness outcomes not often achieved independently.
In order to meet your needs, eVolution consists of two distinct phases: Foundation and Lifestyle. Some of the same techniques are utilized in both, but each offers specific goals that are worth noting:
Once you reach a certain assessment score—based on pain level, mobility, and function—you are ready to transition to the next phase, Lifestyle.
In addition to graduating from Foundation, you can also opt for Lifestyle from the start, as long as you achieve a passing grade on the CoreScore assessment.
Despite its scary-sounding name, “dry needling” is a safe, effective treatment for all types of musculoskeletal pain.
Did you know dry needling can loosen stiff muscles, ease joint pain, and improve oxygen circulation within the body?
Download our infographic to learn how dry needling works and the awesome benefits it offers.
From your muscles to your immune system, marathons take a big toll on all different parts of the body. Some studies show it take around 2 weeks for muscles to return to their normal strength and that the immune system is suppressed up to 3 days after a marathon. Often times runners neglect to take care of their body after running those 26.2 miles, but it should be a critical element of a training program. Failing to follow a post marathon recovery plan can cause performance to suffer and cause overtraining symptoms to kick in.
Keep Moving - Immediately After the Race
Immediately after a race it is important to keep moving. Your body is still in marathon mode even though your mind wants to drop to the ground. Walk around for at 10-15 minutes after the race to help transition your body to a resting state. Drink plenty of water and eat a small amount of carbohydrates and protein, this will help your blood sugar level and repair muscle tissue.
Take a break - Days 1-3
1-3 days after the race it is important to give your body a well-deserved break. Take a hot bath, go on a walk, get a light massage, give your body time to recover. Help repair damaged muscles by eating plenty of carbs and protein, also increase vitamin C intake to help boost your immune system.
Keep it slow - 1 week
Keep workouts short and light. Incorporate low impact cross-training to increase blood circulation to help with the muscle healing process. Go on a easy effortless run to see how your body responds. If you're still hurting, continue to rest and take it slow.
Moving On - Week 2 and on
If your body feels to be almost back to normal, try easing back into your typical running frequency. However, keep the runs low effort and shorter. It usually takes 2-3 weeks to get back into training as your body recovers and returns to normal. If possible try not to schedule races sooner than 6 weeks after the marathon.
Contact us today to get started.
877-609-0123 or 952-835-4512