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It’s a new year! And while some are creating resolutions, we at SolPop are creating arm sequences to help you strengthen your core. What? Our arms are connected to our core? You betcha! Our arm muscles help us deeply engage our abdominals and by finding this we can have a better connection into our core stabilizing muscles. One of the biggest fitness faux pa’s out there is that if your hands are behind your head, you should hold “loosely," as if you are "holding a feather.” This misnomer often creates tension in our necks, and we are robbed of finding the best way to strengthen our obliques. Instead, if we can actually hold our heads and use our arm muscles efficiently, we can find the connection between our serratus anterior and our oblique muscles. These muscles intertwine or interdigitate, which is akin to two muscles being besties and helping each other out. Together, they work as mobilizers and stabilizers and are huge players in stabilizing our torso as well as providing dynamic stability during walking and running. In other words, our arms and core work together to help us twist, flex, and stabilize our toros.


Our arms are also an important lever to challenge our core. Raise your arms overhead (and you should do this every day by the way to keep those shoulders mobile!) and feel how your ribs start to open forwards and cause your spine to extend. With our arms overhead, we can feel our abdominal muscles challenged. We use this action a lot in Pilates to teach core connection.


Our arms also help us walk! Our arms are part of what is called the anterior oblique sling. This myofascial sling is important for stabilizing the pelvis during gait and provides a whole-body approach to training the abdominals. Next time you’re walking or running, notice the movement of your arms. Our arms are meant to move in a contralateral (opposing arm to leg) way to work these slings during gait. So, the next time you’re walking into the studio, remember that your arms are a vital part of your training here! Let’s high five to that!







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