Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Want to Do Everything Better? Build A Strong Core


Core strength and stability is increasingly recognized as a vital part of fitness. So what is it and how do you go about getting it? The past five years have seen growing interest in resistance, or weight training programs, aimed at achieving core strength and stability. While some of us might think apples when we hear the word 'core', the word certainly doesn't refer to a throw-away aspect of fitness.

What is core strength? The muscles of the 'core' are primarily those of the trunk and pelvis. The core muscles stabilize the spine and effectively move the body with varying loads. If the trunk muscles are weakened, then posture and movement can be affected significantly. The core muscles are necessary for effective transfer of energy from large to small muscle groups - especially when performing sports-specific movements. In recent years there has been a shift to an emphasis on 'functional' training, i.e. making training as realistic as possible so it has direct applicability to a particular sport.

This type of training attempts to anticipate and mimic movements that occur during sport, such as twisting and turning. It is believed that training for core strength and stability can lower the risk of injury and increase power application for sports performance. Strengthening the core muscles of the trunk and pelvis provides a stable platform for the actions of the shoulder, arm and leg muscles. Pilates exercises are a popular and effective way to develop core strength and stability.

Muscles of the trunk and pelvis - Some of the most important muscles of the core are the deeper abdominal muscles that wrap and protect the spine; the abdominal muscles that run along the front and sides of the abdomen; the erector muscles of the lower back; and the muscles of the pelvic floor and hips. Having a so-called 'six pack' of abdominal muscles does not necessarily mean having good core strength and stability. Some of the most important 'core' muscles actually lie underneath the six-pack and, together with the erector muscles of the spine, help maintain good posture and balance during daily activity. This means that just doing sit-ups for the abs will not usually be enough to develop core strength.

Training for core strength and stability The major aim of core strength training is to perform exercises that closely resemble specific movements during a particular sport. Emphasis should be placed on diagonal and rotational movements, and promoting balance and strength by performing exercises standing or sitting on different (including unstable) surfaces such as balance beams, wobble boards, foam rollers, and fit balls. Training should emphasis a balance between developing agonist (prime movers) and antagonist muscles. In many sports, movements are performed while balancing on one leg, or shifting the body weight from one leg to another, and so exercises mimicking these actions should be incorporated into the training program. Examples include a kicking a football while on the run and pushing hard while cycling up steep hills.

Exercises to improve core strength Since there are several different trunk, back and pelvic muscles that make up the 'core', it is important to perform a variety of exercises that target these muscle groups. Core strength can be developed by performing:Pilates exercises, Standard abdominal exercises (such as sit ups and crunches) Fit ball exercises (including roll outs, walk outs, sit ups, leg lifts, and jack knifes) Resistance training exercises with an emphasis on deadlift, squat and lunge exercises, as well as 'power' exercises using 'Olympic'-style lifts (cleans, clean and press, and push press)

Medicine ball training (overhead throwing to a partner, side throw, rugby passing, lunge exercises holding the medicine ball above the head) Balancing exercises on a wobble board, balance beam, or foam roller (standing on one or both feet, walking forwards and backwards, with eyes open or eyes closed). Although not absolutely necessary, these exercises provide another level of stimulation and are encouraged whenever there is access to such specialist equipment

About The Author

Dianne Villano is a personal fitness instructor certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine with over 17 years experience. Dianne specializes in weight loss programs and programs for beginners. For more articles or free fitness tools visit www.custombodiestampabay.com.

Copyright 2002-2004 CUSTOM BODIES, INC. All Rights Reserved.


MORE RESOURCES:

Can I build muscle without going to a gym?
TheHealthSite
According to Arnav Sarkar, strength coach and fitness trainer, bodyweight exercises can definitely help beginners, but may not be able to build muscle after a certain extent. 'Yes, it is possible to some degree, especially for beginners. The key is to ...



The One Thing You Need to Do to Build Muscle
STACK News
We've all seen the 150-pound soaking wet trainee who kills himself in the gym day in and day out but isn't gaining muscle. Why? He may have drawn the short end of the stick in the genetics pool, but another reason may be the lack of nutrition before ...



Tech Times

Bodybuilders Are Slurping Breast Milk To Build Muscle But Is It A Good Idea?
Tech Times
Some fitness buffs are looking to buy breast milk, believing it can help them achieve bodybuilding goals. Experts say it's not a good or healthy decision. (Photo : Andrew Burton | Getty Images). This story puts a whole new spin on the "got milk ...
Looking to bulk up? Breast milk is the latest trend in weightliftingKABC-TV
Men bulking up by drinking breast milkKFDA
Bodybuilders turn to breast milk to bulk upDeccan Chronicle
Examiner.com
all 101 news articles »


Here's a quick way to blast fat AND build muscle [video]
Bangor Daily News
I have a love/hate relationship with barbell complexes. I love them because they make cardio workouts less boring and more effective by boosting the burn and intensity without stressing the joints. I kinda hate them because, done right, they can be a ...

and more »


Older adults need to double protein intake to build muscle
Mumbai Mirror
It is well known that consuming protein stimulates the body's cells to build protein. However, getting older combined with eating less protein can lead to a decline in the body's muscle-building efficiency. Maintaining and building muscle is especially ...



Rock star Sohail gives Pakistan mountain of muscle
Taipei Times
As a youngster, dreaming of making a name for himself, Khan used to throw stones down the hills in Malakand — the mountainous tribal area in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province — to build muscle to bowl fast. Deprived of basic cricket facilities, Khan ...

and more »


POPSUGAR

Why HIIT Is Good For Weight Loss
POPSUGAR
Another way HIIT helps with weight loss is through its afterburn effect, or the calories you burn when you're sitting on your couch and congratulating yourself on completing your workout. Those short, intense bursts of exercise help build muscle and ...



The Glen Rose Reporter

Nicholson chasing state glory
The Glen Rose Reporter
You can't build muscle working out every single day." Heath was last seen in action at the Stephenville Meet matching his personal-best deadlift of 600 pounds to secure first place in the 220s. "I remember my mom (Sheila) jumping up and down, and some ...



Snowed in but breaking out: a midterm review with students of Re-Creation's ...
SouthCoastToday.com
Alexis Bernier, age 18, a senior at B.M.C. Durfee High School, noted that she joined the challenge not to lose weight, but rather to “get in shape” and build muscle so that she can play sports. “I've been eating a lot of fast food,” Bernier confessed ...



I Made It! 'There is no one magic ticket to longevity'
TBO.com
GOAL: We are constantly bombarded with advertising that leads us to believe a fountain of youth is as close as the next libido pill or 25-minute exercise video. I challenged myself to experience, as best I could at age 63, better health, vitality and ...


Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.