Everyone is obsessed with core training these days, but this is nothing new. When I started working in this industry way back in 1999 core training was also the rage. Some things don’t change, everyone wants a better-looking mid-section. However, what has changed since 1999 is how we go about training the core, along with more of an emphasis on making sure it functions correctly. Here are 4 important facts you need to know about core training:
- As exercise science has progressed its now common knowledge to know that great looking abs are mostly due to a great looking diet. You can have the best abs this side of the Mississippi, but nobody will know if there is a large layer of fat covering them. The old saying “Abs are built in the kitchen” does have some merit.
- A properly functioning core has a huge impact on how we move and perform as well as helping us avoid injury by providing stability while our extremities move. “Proximal stability leads to distal mobility”, what this means is a properly functioning core (proximal meaning situated nearer to the center of the body) allows for more mobility from our joints that are more distal (distal meaning situated away from the center of the body) such as the shoulders and hips.
- The stability of the core can change with foot orientation. Depending on what stance you’re in, whether it be bi-lateral stance, split stance, or single leg unsupported stance, the core musculature is challenged differently. It is important to be screened to determine if there is a stability issue with any of these stances. Once this is determined, the core can then be progressively challenged with activities that use the foot orientation that needs work. Without this specificity, the weakness will not be corrected.
- Most people think of your core as just the abdominal muscles you can see (think 6-pack muscles), but we now define the “core” with many more muscles. The core refers to more than just the abs. It encompasses the entire musculature of the torso, including the abdominals, obliques, erectors, glutes, hip flexors, lats, adductors, and more. The core acts on the shoulders, scapulae, spine, pelvis, and hips. At the spine, it can produce, reduce, and resist spinal flexion, extension, lateral flexion, and rotation. It is responsible for transmitting forces from the upper body to lower body. Basically, every muscle that connects in some way to our pelvis plays a role in having a stable core.
Your Ridgefield’s personal training team.