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:

How to Get Fit Like a Marine
STACK News
With all the hard work you're grinding out in the weight room, you'd better learn how to build muscle in the kitchen with a proper diet. Check out the video player above to see an example of what your plate should look like if you're trying to build ...



Yahoo Health

Barre Method: What's True, What's Hype & How To Stay Injury Free
Yahoo Health
Contrary to what experts once thought, research has now shown that it is possible to build muscle with a high number of repetitions and light resistance (as you do in barre). It's just not the most efficient approach. “Time is valuable, and we all want ...

and more »


MassLive.com

Chicopee Recreation Department offers fitness classes for the New Year
MassLive.com
The class is designed for men and women and combines cardiovascular exercises with those to build muscle. Registration and payment is held on a pay-as-you-go. The cost is $4 a class for residents and $5 for non-residents. Learn to swim classes for ...



Daily Mail

Gymnast with Down syndrome, 22, overcomes low muscle tone and poor ...
Daily Mail
A 22-year-old gymnast with Down syndrome has, against all odds, become a four-time national championship winner at the Special Olympics. Chelsea Werner, from San Francisco's Bay Area, started gymnastics at age four as a way to build muscle tone and ...

and more »


Letter: Physical activity should be part of school day
Battle Creek Enquirer
If they received even a 15 minute-recess, they could run around, burn calories and build muscle. The drawback to this conclusion is that it would take out from learning time, but the students have so much energy bottled up inside of them, they wouldn't ...



NEVER MIND THE KILOS
Ahmedabad Mirror
Half of this time should be spent in strength training, a regime that specifically helps you build muscle. Lifestyle nutrition consultant Tripti Gupta adds the body needs an adequate amount of protein for building muscle. For men, it's 2.5 to 3 gm per ...

and more »


3 Reasons Why You're Not Getting Stronger
STACK News
The harsh reality is that the stronger you become, the harder it is to get still stronger. Beginners often continue training because they gain strength and build muscle initially. But as they progress, the gains come much slower and the results are ...



At the gym
Great Falls Tribune
These wide-grip pull-ups will build muscle so your whole upper body will be stronger and more toned. Enjoy the progression and the results. 1. Total Gym Pull-Up Trainer. This machine is nice because it builds muscle while you're lying on your stomach.



I Lift Weights But Can't Build Muscle. What's Wrong?
STACK News
The best diet to build muscle requires a calorie surplus of at least 15 percent of what you eat to maintain. Your diet must also be balanced. I learned protein is not the only essential thing we need to build muscle and be healthy. Do not neglect ...



Wednesday's community calendar
Cape Breton Post
Cape Breton Community Calendar is a public service listing of community events sponsored by non-profit groups. To ensure adequate advance publication, submit notices at least two weeks prior to the event. Limit announcements to 24 words or less.


Google News


Advertisement



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

Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.