Lesson #8: It all starts with the core!

From our good friend Michael Hamilton at Uplift Health and Wellness.

"Daddy why are the babies just doing planks?”

I glance over and on the living room floor, sitting between my 5 month old twins is Joshua, with huge eyes pointing at his twin sisters. And behold they are both doing a fully extended hand Plank! Bodies perfectly placed, throwing in a little rocking here and there. Honestly I wasn't entirely sure, why were they planking? I was just duly impressed with their tiny little strength.

“They are just exercising like you and me buddy”.

This is baby 4 and 5 for me and for some reason, like never before the physical stages of development have been jumping out at me. Maybe it’s having two, maybe it’s getting further and further into my field and being more aware of the human body. Whatever the reason, this time around I have clearly seen the progression and IT ALL STARTS WITH THE CORE. My twins went from soft little lumps of flesh that could’t do much of anything, to now at 9ish months crawling, turning over, sitting up, standing on things and even trying a few steps. But guess what? They didn’t look at each other one day and decide “Hey, let’s get in some bicep curls, build up the arms.” Or “Hey, let’s get some mad abs on the crunch machine at the gym.” No, the movement was functional, and it starting at the core and expanded from there. The first two movements I noticed were planking and superman aka strengthening the front and the back of their core after of course rolling and wiggling (side of the core). Within a month they had developed 365 degrees of solid base from which to move. Only after this did they start the sitting and crawling and so on. We often forget this simple principal in our workouts: core to extremity. When I say core, I don’t mean your 6-pack.  Sure, those aspiring washboard abs are a part of your core but I mean the full 365 degrees of engagement around that center of our movement and body. What we tend to do instead often is focus on a physical result, “I want big biceps” or “I want a toned butt” and sometimes we even get these things and end up with huge arms or legs, but please! Remember your core must be involved in this growth and development. If we leave it behind, it will betray us with pain and injuries!

Owning my business these last years, I have again learned from my body and realized how truly it applies to good ole’ life. Where are we moving from in life? How are we making decisions? How are we judging ourselves? Do we listen to voices on the extremities, make decisions way out there and then find ourselves off balance? Do we take feedback from the outside coming in and adjust our self image this way? There are lots of different ways to do it, but the result in life is the same as with our bodies. Sure, sometimes going from the extremities in works, but eventually this catches up with us and we end up “injured”. Remember to center yourself and operate from your core in life. What are your values? What are your goals? From the core to the extremities, don’t get it backwards!

Because core is so important, and in honor of my twins #fitnesspascode8 is “Core Bedtime Bookends”


Every time you wake up and before you get into bed, you will do 30 seconds of “superman swimming” and 30 seconds of a plank hold 4x. Wake the core up and start your day off right and get a little reset before bed!

Michael Hamilton

Michael started dancing at 10 years old and joined Maine State Ballet at 14. That year during a closed dress rehearsal he strained his hamstring going into a full season of Nutcracker. Thankfully, the company had an onsite Kinesthesiologist, Dr Kimball. With her help and guidance, he was able to relax the injury and continue without missing a show. This was his introduction to body work and the respect and curiosity never stopped.

After years of enjoying the benefits, Michael decided to learn more and join the healing. He attended California Healing Arts College,  completing their masters program then immediately started practicing in Southern California.  Michael incorporates his dance and sports background (soccer, football and tennis) into his treatments. Using a natural and learned muscular and skeletal awareness, he utilizes a combination of more then a dozen modalities of massage, ballet and Thai stretching to assure that the patient is getting whatever their body needs.

As the owner of UPLIFT Health and Wellness, Michael hopes his philosophy of not only treating patients when they come in, but sending them home with new things to think about and put into practice can permeate the entire wellness center.