Get a handle on the Top 5 Core Training Tips! If you are going to be a successful athlete, YOU MUST HAVE A STRONG, POWERFUL CORE!
Your body's core consists of the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex, thoracic spine and cervical spine, shoulder girdle and pelvic floor. THE CORE is your body's center of gravity. Many athletes have sufficient EXTREMITY STRENGTH (limbs), but few athletes display sufficient CORE STRENGTH.
A strong and stable core will maximize your EXTREMITY STRENGTH and POWER. A core strengthening program involves using many muscles in a coordinated movement. Rather than isolating specific joints as in most weight lifting exercises, core stability exercises focus on working the deep muscles of the entire torso at once.
The core muscles are very important for preventing low back pain.
The body's core is so much more than your "six pack" abs! A strong core will maximize your strength and speed. Since the core is your body's center of gravity and all movement begins with the core, it is essential to strengthen and stabilize it. A strong core will allow you to handle heavier loads as your training progresses. You will also lessen your chances of injury.
So, here goes the Top 5 Core Training Tips:
1. Strengthen and stabilize your deep core muscles first. The transversus abdominis, which is the deepest of the abdominal muscles, lies under the obliques and wraps around your spine for protection and stability. Think of the transversus abdominis as "your internal weight belt." It is recruited when you brace (as if getting ready to take a punch in the gut) your torso during an exercise.
Other deep stabilizing core muscles are the multifidus, internal obliques, lumbar transversospinalis, pelvic floor and diaphragm. Exercises such as planks, side planks, bridges, cobras and supermans strengthen the deep core muscles.
2. Strenghten and stabilize the superficial core muscles. Superficial core muscles include your "six pack" (rectus abdominis). It also includes the external obliques, erector spinae and quadratus lumborum. Low back pain usually follows when the quadratus lumborum is not activated. The adductor complex, quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteus maximus also support core movements.
3. Strengthen and stabilize your shoulder girdle. The shoulder girdle supports all core movement. For the shoulder, the important areas are the lumbar spine, cervical spine and the scapulothoracic joint. If these areas are not stable, extra loading and strain is passed on to the shoulder joint.
4. Strengthen and stabilize your hip musculature. The hips, quadriceps and hamstrings are your "power center." You won't be even a good athlete if your "power center" is not strong and stable.
5. Do sport specific training for your core, or core power training. Full speed, sport specific core training should be the last stage of training. It is also the stage most prone to training injuries. This type of training is high-risk, high-reward training. It includes medicine ball exercises, sport specific lunging exercises, jumping exercises and dumbbell exercises.