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

Integrating Core Stabilization into Your Workouts


Stabilization is a hot topic in the fitness industry over the past few years. But what is stabilization? Stabilization can be defined as the body's muscular systems ability to support (stabilize) the body during movement.

For most fitness enthusiasts, core training is a foreign topic. Exercises designed to build strength in the chest, back, shoulders, legs and arms are typically chosen over exercises designed to improve the strength of the core. The "core" is defined as the muscles surrounding the cervical (neck), thoracic (chest), lumbar (low back), pelvic, and hip area. The core is the foundation for all movement patterns to occur. A strong efficient core is necessary for proper movement to occur. Allowing other muscles to become strong before the core can lead to injury at some point in your body. For example, most people have tight hip flexors, quadriceps, and psoas. When these muscles are tight they cause the stabilizing muscles of the core (transverse abdominals, multifidi, and glutes) to become lengthened and therefore weak. When muscles become weak, they cannot work efficiently and the tight muscles take over their function.

Picking an object up off the floor is a great example of how your core "braces" the body to prepare for the lift. As you lift the object off the floor, your core stabilizes the body and allows efficient movement to occur to transmit force through the lumbar spine and out through the body. If your core is not strong enough and proper postural positioning is off, the body cannot properly handle the weight of the object and injury can occur. For example, if the back is rounded through the shoulders as you pick up a box of books, the center of gravity shifted forward and away from the body putting enormous strain the lumbar discs. Repeated stress on the lumbar disc will lead to a serious back injury at some point.

Mastering of basic exercises designed to recruit the deep abdominal stabilizers is a must for proper progression to occur. The first level is to begin to re-teach the muscles deep in the abdominal wall to fire properly. Teaching a client to "brace" their abdominal wall is the key to building proper stabilizing within the lumbo-pelvic hip region. These exercises are done on a stable environment (floor). Exercises in the first level typically are held for a period of time to allow the deep stabilizing muscles to improve their functional capacity.

Once the basic concept of abdominal bracing is mastered after a couple of days, the next level can be obtained through challenging the stabilizing muscles through movement of the spine or the arms and legs in a semi-stable environment. Stability balls are commonly used and are a great way to build core stability. Other ways to increase the intensity is to raise a limb off the ground to force the body to hold a posturally correct position with good core stabilization.

As core stabilization improves challenging the body becomes a function of being creative and safe. Try a multi-joint exercise in different directions to create better core stabilization. For example, lunge to the front, back, and to the sides combined with an overhead press requires a great deal of core stabilization.

Building a strong core is more than just endless crunches and leg raises. Fitness professionals have the knowledge to help you build a strong core effectively and safely. By being creative, you can build a strong core in no time, just in time for spring break.

Dave Radin, BS, CSCS, NASM-CPT. Dave Radin has been working with individuals for over 12 years helping them reach their health and fitness goals, whether weight loss, general fitness, or sport specific. He has authored articles on various fitness topics. He lives in the Charlotte area with his wife, Randi, and his son, Matthew.

You can contact him at davefradin@netzero.net or check out http://www.lakenormanfitness.com


MORE RESOURCES:

Voice of America

US, South Korean Forces Conduct Joint Landing Exercise
Voice of America
U.S. and South Korean forces held a landing drill Monday near the port city of Pohang, as part of the annual Foal Eagle military exercise. "In the event of a crisis, probably the Korean military as well as the United States military, will be involved ...

and more »


ABC News

Ways Exercise Makes You Look and Feel Younger
ABC News
The powers of a steady fitness routine are impressive: regular exercise can help you build stronger muscles, stave off chronic illnesses, and make your clothes fit a whole lot better. But there's another benefit of physical activity that deserves a ...



There are ways to exercise at your desk
Columbus Dispatch
You might attract odd looks from fellow office workers, but getting on your feet every hour and exercising at your desk could help reduce cardiovascular and other health risks associated with sitting all day. Health and fitness experts recommend a host ...
There are approaches to exercise at your deskChicago Daily News

all 3 news articles »


How Exercise May Aid Cancer Treatment
New York Times (blog)
In a new study involving mice, aerobic exercise slowed the growth of breast cancer tumors and made the cancer more sensitive to chemotherapy. The results raise the possibility that exercise may change the biology of some malignant tumors, potentially ...

and more »


LancasterOnline

Mountville firefighter critically injured during training exercise
LancasterOnline
A Mountville firefighter was seriously injured during a training exercise Saturday, according to the department's Facebook page. Paul Rossi suffered a head laceration when he fell from a ladder at the Lancaster County Public Safety Training Center on ...



Daily Caller

Limbaugh On Reid: 'I Don't Believe For A Minute' He Was Injured On Exercise ...
Daily Caller
Harry Reid may be retiring, but the questions about him never stop coming from Rush Limbaugh. On his Friday program, Limbaugh openly questioned the story that the Nevada Senator was injured in New Years Day accident on his exercise machine.
Harry Reid to step down, says not due to “exercise accident”Power Line (blog)
Rush: 'I Don't Believe For A Minute' Harry Reid Was Injured On Exercise MachineFox News

all 1,732 news articles »


Jezebel

Study: Chocolate Might Be as Good for the Brain as Exercise
Jezebel
Overpriced Lululemon pants to the left, to the left: chocolate might be as good for your brain (but not necessarily your booty) as exercise is, says science. "Might be," because you'd essentially have to eat a shit ton of it in order to reap the ...
Is chocolate better than exercise for the brain?OUPblog (blog)
Study: Chocolate Might Be as Great for the Brain as ExerciseNew York Recorder

all 4 news articles »


CBS News

Healthy heart may help men battle cancer, study finds
CBS News
Cardiovascular exercise may be an important component to battling cancer, a new study finds. Published in "JAMA Oncology," doctors concluded middle-age men with high cardiovascular respiratory fitness (CRF) cut their risk of cancer death, if they were ...

and more »


Harris, Frantom reminding District 7 voters to exercise right in April 14 runoff
The Augusta Chronicle
Louis “Hap” Harris, the appointed interim commissioner who received 36.5 percent of the vote, said he was “six months already trained” and hoped voters exercise their “precious and paid-for by a lot of people” right to vote in the runoff. Turnout for ...

and more »


Make your exercise routine safer and more effective
The Seattle Times
In order for an exercise to be effective and to prevent injury, you have to have proper form. It can be difficult to check your own alignment and technique, though, because you are generally otherwise distracted. You can use a mirror but you can't ...


Google News


Advertisement



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

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.