When most people think of their core they think of their abs, but it takes a lot to achieve a shredded six pack!
Your core is divided into 3 systems, the local stabilization, global stabilization, and movement system. Try to picture them from the inside out… Local, Global, Movement. It is important to create a core foundation from the inside out in order to make progress. For example, if your Movement System is strong but your Local System is weak then your body will sense the muscle imbalance and won’t be able to transfer forces correctly. A clear visual of this would be excessive spinal extension during an overhead press… your core should not look like a question mark during the exercise!
The Local Stabilization System is made of muscles that attach directly to the vertebrae and are made of type 1 (slow twitch) muscle fibers. They help provide support from vertebrae to vertebrae.
The Global Stabilization System are muscles that attach from the pelvis to the spine. They transfer loads from the upper to lower extremities, provide stability, stabilization, and eccentric control of the core.
The Movement System includes muscles that attach to the spine and/or pelvis to the extremities. The muscles in this system provide concentric force production and eccentric deceleration.
When training your core, include the entire muscle action spectrum. Focus on force production (concentric), force reduction (eccentric), and dynamic stabilization (isometric). The goal of core training is to create neural adaptations instead of strength gains. Using a variety of tools such as stability balls, BOSU balls, exercise bands, and balance equipment are excellent ways to create a multisensory training environment. As with any exercise, focus on your form rather than the reps or weights your using. Quality over quantity!
There are 3 levels of core training; stabilization, strength, and power.
Core-Stabilization Training Examples:
- Supermans or (Cobra for you Yogi’s out there)
Core Strength Training Examples:
- Stability Ball Crunch
- Back Extensions
- Reverse Crunch
- Cable Rotations
Core Power Training Examples:
- Rotating Chest Pass
- Medicine Ball Pull Over Throw (on stability ball)
- Front Medicine Ball Oblique Throw
- Soccer Throw
If any of your core muscles are weak, it can result in lower back pain or a bulging belly (the question mark example). Keeping your core muscles strong is great for your posture, and can help give you more strength to complete other exercises.