The “inner unit-outer unit”… do you find these four words trivial? As a Corrective Exercise Specialist, it is my experience the inner unit is an underrated area of the body and widely misunderstood.
In my opinion, the inner muscle unit and pelvic floor muscles are important to your fitness, health and well-being. The miniscule muscles of the inner unit have a neurological relationship between all the muscles that stabilize the spine and joints of the body. For example: if hips are unstable due to a weak inner unit, so are legs, knees, feet and ankles. Remember, “the hip bone connects to the leg bone and the leg bone connects to the knee bone”… so on and so forth!
Is there a small part of you that wonders what the inner unit muscles consist of? The inner unit muscles are: diaphragm, pelvic floor, transverse abdominus and the deep spinal stabilizer muscles. The transverse abdominus wraps around the core like a corset. When these muscles are weak and not integrated with the outer unit one may struggle with various issues.
Most personal trainers, weekend warriors and fitness buffs focus on the superficial muscles of the outer unit to sculpt six pack abs. Other than for aesthetics, what is the purpose of ripped abs if one lacks postural wholeness and proper physical functionality? The abs may look good but there is no true core stability. I think about the blow up characters placed outside of a car dealership blowing all over in the wind.
I often wonder why some folks perceive themselves as fit, healthy and well only to periodically experience physical, emotional and demoralizing breakdowns? Many times I have heard exercise enthusiast say, “I threw my back out”, “pulled a hamstring” or “my sciatica is acting up.” Could the paradox be people believe themselves as healthy and fit only to deteriorate holistically due to lack of correct integration?
For purposes of this blog theme, I am referring to fitness buffs that have a weekly, if not daily, workout regimen of running or cycling or yoga or weight training … to name a handful of exercises. Parts of my ego choose not to deceive myself by realizing weekend warriors are not exempt from suffering the same self-inflicted bodily destruction and injuries as inactive people who live a sedentary, junk-food eating lifestyle.
Would you consider the emotional, mental and spiritual issues which arise during a holistic disintegration? In the past when I suffered from lower back problems, sciatica and knee pain or neck and shoulder issues I felt myself as moody, lethargic and lacked feel-good, vibrant life force energy. In my opinion, when our bodies don’t feel good and perform optimally, neither do our minds and the vicious cycle continues until we become aware, responsible and make optimal decisions for our health and wellbeing. In my experience, discovering and awakening the inner muscle unit requires an expert guide.
With a powerless, unintegrated inner muscle unit one may struggle with incontinence, joint and back pain, weak ligaments, pinched nerves (sciatica) and overall feelings to uneasiness. The inner unit and pelvic floor muscles must work synergistically with the outer unit muscle to promote true core and spinal stability. Furthermore, I feel I am a living testament that synergistic magic happens with true core stability.
Patricia Garza Pinto is a CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach and CHEK Corrective Exercise Coach certified by San Diego’s Paul Chek—a holistic health practitioner, neuromuscular therapist and founder of the C.H.E.K (Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiology) Institute. Patricia is also a second-degree Reiki Practitioner who has obtained additional personal training certifications from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Council on Exercise. Exemplifying 35 years of fitness and health experience, Patricia approaches wellness from many perspectives integrating them into a unified whole. Learn more by visiting TransforMotion.com where Patricia guides her clientele through their respective journeys of authentic self-discovery. (Visit the website or call 949-422-1168.)