By Karyn Gallivan, MS, ATC, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, NASM-CPT
Contributor, Sports & Fitness Network
Core training programs have come and gone over the last couple of decades. These programs are still vitally important because a weak core can lead to a whole host of injuries. The understanding of core itself has grown to include the abdominals, and the back, spine, and hip musculature –and when I write core, I am talking about all of this. If the core is properly strengthened the benefits in terms of performance and injury prevention are immense. The core, along with the ankle stabilizing muscles are responsible for keeping the body in proper alignment, stabilizing the pelvis, and providing an anchor for the transfer of power that is required during activity.
Core stability is about strengthening muscles that make up the foundation of your conditioning program. If the core is weak, it will be difficult to properly strengthen anything else, let alone avoid injuries. A stronger, more stable core provides a strong foundation on which to build and use the muscles of the limbs effectively.
This solid base is essential for effective fitness and conditioning, performance enhancement, and injury prevention. Adequate core strength and stability will support the spine and pelvis during movement. Other benefits to core training include improved posture, better exercise technique, and more efficient movement.
I will continue this conversation next month, but for now, as you add to your core training programs, always consider these basic exercises because even minor improvements in core strength can yield great benefits:
- Holding in the “up” position of a push up
- Plank –on elbows & toes
- Glute Bridge
- Superman (prone)
- Back Extensions
- Reverse Crunch