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Core Training

Core exercises should focus on the entire torso, from head to feet, in order to develop strong, solid core strength

Your core, as the word implies, is your center from which all action and activity arises. The core is literally and figuratively the center of your body—as your center of gravity, it is where all movement originates. The core must be strong. If the core is strong, you will move with nature, not against it. An inefficient core does not afford the muscle balance required by the kinetic chain. Pay attention to your core.

The lumbo-pelvic hip complex is the location of your core. There are 29 muscles that attach through this core. The core divides into two categories: a stabilization system inside and a movement system outside. These two systems work together to initiate movement from the core. Both of these systems need to be trained.

Incorporating movements that are multidimensional are the best means to a solid, stable core. Elements of multidimensional movements include twisting and moving on top of stable and unstable surfaces. By changing your balance from one foot to the other while maintaining the control and balance of movement in the core, you allow your upper and lower body to respond to all elements from an integrated core.

A weak core is a fundamental problem. It causes inefficient movement and leads to predictable patterns of injury. Researchers have discovered that individuals with chronic low back pain (85% of U.S. adults) have a decreased activation in the stabilization part of the core. This manifests as pain and decreased stabilization endurance. To add insult to injury, exercise believed to address this problem—traditional abdominal exercises—are often done without proper lumbo-pelvic hip stabilization, which effectively increases pressure on the disks and the lumbar spine making the problem worse, not better. It is critical to adopt a systematic and progressive approach to training the core, addressing the stabilization system and strengthening the weak areas before progressing to more complex movements that link to the core’s movement system. Core training improves posture, muscle balance and stabilization. It is critical to all three training phases: stabilization, strength and power.