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:

The Seattle Times

Boost your brainpower through exercise
The Seattle Times
Exercise tones legs, builds bigger biceps and strengthens the heart. But of all the body parts that benefit from a good workout, the brain may be the big winner. Physical fitness directly affects our mind and plays a crucial role in the way the brain ...

and more »


Charleston Gazette

Try This! conference aims to improve diet, exercise habits
Charleston Gazette
Ruthlawn Elementary first grade students Olivia Jamerson, left, and Kenneth Straley, right, use their exercise ball chairs to do a quick activity with their classmates inside their classroom in South Charleston. During class, their teacher Bev Stern ...

and more »


The Good Men Project (blog)

4 Reasons You Fail to Exercise (And What You Can Do About It!)
The Good Men Project (blog)
If you can't find time to exercise, here's a suggestion: Make a daily activity log. Take a notepad and write down every single thing you do every day, and how much time it takes. Do it for a week. Now review it — and see how you've been utilizing your ...



Valley morning Star

Exercise & civic engagement can slow memory loss in aging
Valley morning Star
Studies have shown that much can be done to slow this process, and to maintain a sort of fitness in aging, which includes regular exercise and healthy choices about what we put in our body, including food and other substances. But what we have studied ...

and more »


New York Times (blog)

Well | Lack of Exercise Can Disrupt the Body's Rhythms
New York Times (blog)
Exercise may affect how and when we move, even when we aren't exercising, according to a fascinating new study in mice. The findings suggest that, by influencing our built-in body clocks, exercise may help our bodies to recognize the optimal times we ...



Exercise may cut risk of death among elderly men
Yahoo News
(Reuters Health) - Elderly men who exercise regularly – even by doing light activities like walking – may be less likely to die than those who are sedentary, a large Norwegian study suggests. Researchers followed about 5,700 men for about five decades, ...

and more »


Albany Times Union

Dr. David Katz offers health advice: exercise, eat plants, don't smoke
Albany Times Union
Colonie. Bad use of fingers, forks and feet. That's Dr. David Katz's catchphrase for three behavioral problems that lead to serious chronic disease and obesity: smoking, diet and exercise. Get those in order — fingers off the cigarettes, forks on the ...



Houston Chronicle (subscription)

Big Spring sees no big deal in Jade Helm military exercise
Houston Chronicle (subscription)
The briefing offered a rough outline of the unconventional warfare exercise and asked for local cooperation. But the reception was anything but gracious, as a standing-room-only crowd included many who saw ill motive in the exercises planned for July ...
Jade Helm – Reason for Concern?The Moral Liberal

all 10 news articles »


9news.com.au

Sydney shut down for emergency training exercise
9news.com.au
While a simple training exercise, today's event were eerily familiar to scenes six months ago. The Martin Place siege saw Sydney's first responders put to the ultimate test and tomorrow, their actions will be closely scrutinised as part of an inquiry ...
Sydney roads closed for emergency exerciseSydney Morning Herald
Emergency exercise to shut Sydney roadsNEWS.com.au
Sydney roads shut for emergency exerciseSky News Australia

all 33 news articles »


The Valley Town Crier

Jackson Elementary “Gimme Five” NEWS (Nutrition. Exercise. Water. Sleep)
The Valley Town Crier
The City of Mcallen has become a Let's Move City to further entourage McAllen citizen s to eat right and get plenty of exercise. We are just extending that to our students now by providing dance, circuit stations and nutritional portion control games ...


Google News


Advertisement



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

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.