Activating the Core

Two main ideas in teaching core exercises include the drawing-in manoeuvre, and what is known as bracing. These have been shown to increase muscle activity of the local and global stabilisation systems.

Drawing-in Manoeuvre


The drawing-in manoeuvre increases activation of both the pelvic floor muscles, and the transverse abdominus, and is a useful tool in educating participants how to go about “activating the core” and aligning the LPHC through this cognitive process. One can teach a client to perform this movement by starting in the supine position, knees bent to ninety degrees, and arms and head relaxed. This Described as slightly drawing in the area just below the naval, while maintaining a neutral spine and keeping superficial abdominal muscles as relaxed as possible, the drawing in manoeuvre can be slightly frustrating, at first. However, when the participant can execute it correctly, it develops as a reflex action. process will cause the increase in abdominal pressure mentioned earlier. Special attention needs to be paid to the cervical spine, as well. Excessive anterior tilt (flattening) of the pelvis leads to “deactivation” of the core muscles, which means decreased stability in the LPHC.



The next step in educating participants in core training is what is terms “bracing”. This is also referred to as “bearing down”. This action involves co-contraction of the global stabilisation system. In other words, contraction of anterior, lateral and posterior musculature of the LPHC, to increase the intra-abdominal pressure, as well as to increase stability of the base of attachment for the movement system.