Improve your core control with Acrobranch
Why Acrobranch is good for improving your core control.
by Milanie Niemand
Do you and your kids have good core control? I recently started getting lower back pain for the first time in my life. While seeing the chiropractor and going through my history and lifestyle I was reminded again about how incredibly important good core control is. It is funny how I have been telling my back-injury clients and working on improving the kids’ core control, and only when I noticed the effect on my own body did, I realise I haven’t been practicing what I preach!
So, what is core control? It is the ability of the body to stabilise your trunk (upper body), to control its position and movement. There are many muscles that work together to form the core. Some of them are easy to see for example the abs that are sometimes visible as the “six-pack”, but there are many muscles around the sides, back and deeper inside the trunk that are equally important and need to be in balance. For example, the diaphragm controls breathing and also plays a very important role in stabilisation, and the pelvic floor muscles play a role too. Moms, do you see how pregnancy causes havoc in all these muscles!
Good core control not only enables the body to maintain a posture like sitting or standing for an extended time without getting tired, but it also frees up the arms, legs and neck for movement. Think of the core as the anchor. If the anchor is sturdy, reliable and can stay anchored for a long time, the arms and legs have plenty of opportunity to move or refine fine-motor co-ordination like writing. It therefore helps us (especially children) to concentrate for longer periods of time when sitting because our body is not getting too tired.
Sometimes children who are very active and busy are easily mistaken to have good core control, when in fact, they are actually compensating for poor core control. They will for example be seen fidgeting in the chair, even falling off, hooking their feet around the chair’s legs, often leaning against or hanging on something. These children find it difficult to sit still in class, stand in a row etc and can mistakenly be labelled disobedient, when they are in fact trying hard in the only way they know how.
But our core plays another important role, to protect us against injury. The strong muscles will help maintain our spine in the correct posture for extended times and brace against an impact like heavy lifting, a fall or accident.
Fortunately, it is not difficult to improve core control and many activities will work on it. Exercises like planking, therapy balls and especially Pilates focus strongly on the core. Acrobranch is also a very effective exercise for core control.
Acrobranch is a treetop obstacle course where you are safely connected to a harness and you have to complete various challenging obstacles. If you are not balancing on moving objects like suspended logs and ropes, you are climbing and hanging from ziplines. The highly challenging balancing requirements forces your core to stabilise and move so that your arms and legs can prevent you from falling! There are different levels to choose from and the kids can safely take part on their own course.
Now that you know how important good core control is for both adults and children alike, I hope you are inspired to go out and do some core exercises or a fun family activity like Acrobranch.