What is the Hype about the Core
When the word "core" is heard you might consider peopleÂ working out on a mat doing consecutive crunches and multiple sit-ups, all under the guise ofÂ Â increasing vigor and will-power, toÂ completeÂ as many as possible.Â AnotherÂ exercise to try is to hold yourself up on a stationary device with the elbows,Â arms flexed, and legs hanging straight down. Thus pulling the legs into a perpendicular positionÂ from the floor. This sense of contraction and corresponding fatigue might give the idea that the core is actually being worked out, whenÂ what isÂ occurring is only a small fraction of the core isÂ exercised.Â So far the upper and lower quadrant of the anterior abdominal musclesÂ areÂ workedÂ out, leaving many muscles of the upper and lower back, pelvic, and sides of the bodyÂ absent of any workout. The coreÂ is a largeÂ area of the bodyÂ when it comes to working out. Laying on the floor doing movements that target the anterior abdominal area and the six-packÂ abs that areÂ givenÂ credit for theÂ aesthetics of this area,Â are onlyÂ a small part ofÂ what is to come for a proper workout of the core.
Where to begin with the Core
As you have began to notice,Â the core is more than six-pack abs in a mirror.Â Now youÂ can gain a sense of the coreÂ and place it into a physical fitness program. When you begin to move the extremities, such as doing the bicep curl, the muscles that are near the spine stabilize. Shifting your weight to complete a tricepÂ kickback, the muscles surrounding the spine once again stabilize before you move. The idea is that stabilization occurs before you actually move into placeÂ to begin a specific movement. Conditioning of these inner muscles can beginÂ on the floor, to the knee and finally to standing. Obtaining a base of core strength and endurance starting from the floor can helpÂ youÂ also in completing core workoutsÂ in upright positions. Stability and strengthÂ come together when specific training protocols areÂ Â in effect; such as when you train on one foot.Â Another training modality is suspension training where emphasis isÂ on the core especially when the feetÂ suspendÂ off the floor. StabilizationÂ of the spine occurs from the legs being held up while you are in a push-upÂ position with the arms. Proper technique in core conditioning programs is as important as in other types of strength programs. Breathing during the movement assists you in staying in contact with the muscular movement, since the diaphragm is also aÂ core muscle. Consider that you are now involving the core toÂ bridge the link between the core and where you finally send the energy from the front, back, and lateral muscles to the extremities.
Where the core is located
Wow! Thier is that many core muscles
The core muscles listed for you to check and place within the fitness regimen:
A) Abdominal Wall Front Portion:
B) Deep Muscles of the Back: Erector Spinae
C) Muscles of Inner Thigh
D) Muscles of the Front Thigh
E) Muscles in Gluteal Region
F) Muscles of the Back Thigh: Hamstrings
G) Muscles of the Shoulder
H) Muscle of Respiration
I) Pelvic Floor Muscles
Step One: Develop the core
The Beginning of Your Training
To build overall core conditioning is to makeÂ a goal that isÂ success. The central nervous system plays a major role in spine stabilizationÂ as the body begins movement, thus enhancing movement as this continues to the extremities. Stabilize the core by this bracing of the muscles in the core area at the lumbarÂ level. Placing core exercises into your workout at specific times can affectÂ the extremities as well. Consider core conditioning as a balance between the core and how and when the extremitiesÂ move. Waiting at the end of a workout for the coreÂ could lead to fatigue and poor performance.Â The idea might beÂ to space the core exercises at the beginning, middle, andÂ at the end. While exercising the core, the upper quadrantÂ balancedÂ with the lower and back quadrants. Abdominal area muscles areÂ one-third of the total muscles of the core; with pelvic and back muscles making up the other two-thirds. StabilizationÂ of the spine, pelvic, and shoulders from specific muscles of the back and hips give support. Design core conditioning to develop the purpose of strength, endurance, or power.Â The first step is to begin standing, andÂ in this placeÂ extend your head by initiatingÂ movement fromÂ your forehead. As the forehead moves up, the neck and chest will follow, as well as the upper back. EventuallyÂ the thoracicÂ and then the abdominal muscles areas will respond by contracting. Stabilization of the spine is occurringÂ and you are now in the mode that the core musclesÂ prepareÂ for movement. This bracing technique of the abdominalÂ can lead into the rest of the core being stabilized.Â
Step Two: Community Muscles Meet Global Muscles
The Inner Muscles Finally are associated with Global Muscles
Being awareÂ of the method of bracing has brought a new and improved structure to your daily workouts. The link isÂ complete as you startÂ the inner muscles of the core and express the energy from here to theÂ extremities: the arms and legsÂ to fulfillÂ movement. While training the core, you canÂ change the positions of movement, toÂ aidÂ the body from plateausÂ occurring too often to the muscles. Physically you change as you now engage theÂ picture of the core, as well as psychologically, you can benefit from new movements that happen as you exerciseÂ your extremities. The training plan begins to come together to accommodateÂ the total core and the extremities. Exercise three to four days per week with core conditioning and line up extremity conditioning at specific intervals. Specifically target upper and lower body to balance the inner muscles to the outer muscles.Â Strength also needsÂ balance with flexibility for the core muscles: the trunk, back, and pelvis. Beginning at the community muscle levelÂ move toward the superior partÂ of the global muscles. As you progress to the next level, introduce movements of your chosen activity that involve the upper and lower extremities. Another level is on the floor with balance type equipment (exercise ball), that rolls and engages the core muscles at different angles that you are now exposed to, stabilizing the spine and its' connecting structures to the pelvis. This area being stabilized, the community muscles areÂ conditionedÂ and the resulting forceÂ transfers to the global muscles for use inÂ your chosenÂ activity.
Step Three: Planes Of Movement
Movement Occurs to the Back and Sides
With the Â base of supportÂ thatÂ been gained, the core muscles for the spineÂ stabilize. The community muscles areÂ trained in the three planes. The three planes are:
1) Frontal: Through the head and shoulders and continues down to the feet, perpendicular to the Sagittal plane.
2) Sagittal: Beginning at the head and proceeding down, placing a line to separate right and left sides; midline of the body.
3) Transverse:Â Reference point at the waist separating upper and lower body, also called the horizontal plane.
Progress inÂ core conditioning within the planes with slow movements to begin with andÂ moveÂ to the actual speed of the activity. Endurance in the range of 12 to 15 repetitions; strength in the range of 6 to 8 repetitions, and power is in the range of 4 to 6 repetitions. Completing exercises in all planes prepares the trunk and extremities for the stress that will occur during competition. The planesÂ involvedÂ with front to back, side to side, and rotationalÂ movements.Â Â The lumbar region of the spineÂ limitsÂ in its rotational capacity whichÂ during program design needsÂ addressingÂ toÂ decrease injury. Technique is more important than the number of repetitions you can complete whichÂ could lead to overtraining. In core conditioning being aware of balance is an important part for the eventual conditioning of the total core. Complete each core exercise to its fullest potential in all three planes to get the most of your workout.
The Core In Practice
An overview of Sample Core Exercises
Having prepared yourself, the next step is to actually do the movements while concentrating on the core. The movements start from the floor in the plank position and progress up to the feet, where weight transfer occurs:
A) Plank: Begin with the elbows and forearms on the mat and prop up to the toes. Hips should line up with the head all the way towardsÂ the legs.
B)Â Alternate Leg/Arm: With hands and knees on the floor, lift one arm straight and extend with an opposing leg. Bracing the core, keep the arms and legs in a straight position for three seconds and return to start.
C) Body Ball Roll: On the toes with knees bent, place abdominalÂ on the ball with arms outstretched in front of you. Bracing the core, move in clockwise positionÂ to start, and once fifteen circlesÂ are complete, Â reverse direction and continueÂ to fifteen circles.
D) Wall Ball Squats: Place the body ball on the wall with the back on the ball. Bracing the core, begin in slight flexion of the knees, and then slowly descend until the knees are at ninety degrees. Holding forÂ five seconds, slowly ascend to slightly flexed knees.
E) Reverse Leg Curls: Laying on your back, lift your legs and place the back part of your ankles onÂ the ball. StabilizeÂ the abdominalÂ and flex the knees until the feet rest on top of the ball. Return slowly to starting position.
F) Lunge: Feet shoulder width apart and the core stabilized, step forwardÂ onÂ one foot with the knee of this foot staying inline with the ankle. The trailing legÂ has theÂ bentÂ kneeÂ and is within an inch off the floor. Keeping the trunk over the hips while progressing through this move. Push off the forwardÂ foot andÂ return to starting place.
F) Squat: Feet shoulder width apart, and knees slightly bent, as weightÂ isÂ onÂ the shoulders on the back or to the front. Bracing the core, begin moving the hips back toward the floor until the thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold the trunk inline with the hips for three secondsÂ placing the weight onÂ the core. Slowly return to starting place.
G) Deadlift: Approach the barbellÂ with knees bent and trunk held in a stabilizing positionÂ with the core being activated. Overhand gripÂ the bar, as you begin the movement at the hips and legs whileÂ keeping the weight close to the knee and thigh. At the top position, holding the bar forÂ five seconds andÂ then move theÂ hip backÂ while holding the back stable, return the bar to the floor.Â
Hints as you exercise the Core:
A) Begin with body weight and the floor. Stability ball is next and to make it a challenge, try suspension training. FinallyÂ standing on the feet,Â changeÂ movesÂ from one footÂ to the other for weight transfer techniques.
B) Time factored in with proper work to rest ratio ( i.e., 3:1) with the body indicating when fatigueÂ sets in and techniqueÂ compromised. This is where you take a rest and recover period before moving to the next exercise.
C) Train by observing movements and exercises in a mirror or video to as close as possible to the original activity or sport.
D) Begin with proper positions at 30 seconds and move to a goal of at least 2 minutes orÂ more depending on whichÂ muscles of the core thatÂ activate. Â
Results From Working Out The Core
Now that you have taken steps to make sure that the core is properly trained, here are someÂ positive outcomes:
1) MovementÂ plannedÂ and carried out in an efficient way from the beginning.
2) Balance and stabilization from community (inner) muscles to the global (outer) muscles forms a connective framework for the extremities.
3) Control is an output for strength, power, and endurance depending on program design.
4) Injury reductionÂ from the program of community musclesÂ assistsÂ the global muscles forÂ training and competitions.
5) Placing core exercises in your daily regimen at the beginning, middle, and end gives an overview of a successful core exercise program.
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