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:

New York Times (blog)

How Exercise May Protect Against Depression
New York Times (blog)
Exercise may help to safeguard the mind against depression through previously unknown effects on working muscles, according to a new study involving mice. The findings may have broad implications for anyone whose stress levels threaten to become ...
Why To Exercise Today: Breaking Down Your Kynurenine Could Fight DepressionWBUR
Exercise as a Prescription for DepressionSci-Tech Today
Exercise protects brain from depression, Swedish study findsNational Post
Windsor Star -Shape Magazine (blog)
all 21 news articles »


Fox News

After-school exercise may improve thinking skills, fitness
Fox News
Children who participated in a physical activity program after school did better on thinking tasks than kids who didn't take part in the program, according to a new study. Participants in the nine-month program performed better on tasks that tested ...
An hour of after-school exercise linked to better cognitive functioningMedical News Today
Exercise makes kids think better, study showsSFGate
An hour of exercise a day boost children's concentrationTelegraph.co.uk
Counsel & Heal
all 114 news articles »


How to Know If You're Addicted to Exercise
MSN News
She's part of a growing tribe racing from one exercise class to the next, racking up two or even three major workouts a day. This gung-ho movement is healthy in many respects. "Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your body and mind," says ...



(Chest) Flying Solo
U.S. News & World Report
From CrossFit to Soul Cycle to early morning running clubs, all the trending exercises these days seem to have a group mentality – and for good reason: Working out with others can help stave off a fitness rut and keep you accountable to your exercise ...



Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

David Kedra, Pennsylvania Trooper, Shot Dead During Gun Training Exercise
Huffington Post
Trooper David Kedra was shot in the chest during a yearly training exercise at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Complex in Conshohocken, near Philadelphia, state police said. He's the second trooper to be shot dead this month following Cpl.
Trooper killed in Montco shooting exercise is identifiedPhilly.com
State trooper killed during training exercise in Montgomery CountyPittsburgh Post-Gazette
State trooper fatally shot during training exerciseTribune-Review
WGAL Lancaster -Officer.com
all 219 news articles »


When it comes to exercise, no two bodies are the same
Madison.com
The word exercising is not in my vocabulary. In fact, “let's get swole” would not be a phrase you'd ever hear me say. I'm all for staying fit and living a healthy lifestyle, but going to the gym would never be my idea of fun. As a five-foot-eight-inch ...



Huffington Post

How to Get Out of an Exercise Rut and Into a Healthy Routine
Huffington Post
No one jumps out of bed in the morning, throws off the covers, and dashes off with excitement to do something they dread. If you want to be a regular exerciser, my first bit of advice is to find a form or two of exercise you love. You won't have to ...

and more »


It's never too late to exercise, study shows
KOMO News
"No matter what your age, even if you've never exercised, start and do it and it will pay off in terms of feeling better and being more mobile and enjoying life more,” said Dr. John Swartzberg, head of the editorial board of the UC Berkeley Wellness ...



Exercise Is ADHD Medication
The Atlantic
Mental exercises to build (or rebuild) attention span have shown promise recently as adjuncts or alternatives to amphetamines in addressing symptoms common to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Building cognitive control, to be better ...

and more »


Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Specialty fields allow workers to exercise options
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Enrollment in the College at Brockport's exercise science undergraduate program has been going up significantly over the past decade, from roughly 60 students enrolled to today more than 400, said Craig Mattern, an associate professor in exercise ...

and more »

Google News


Advertisement



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

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.