The Secret you don’t know about the core
The word Core and Core training has really become the buzz word around the health and fitness industry and in the general public as well, Most people who talk about their programs you will hear mention the core or core exercises they’re doing you may even hear some who has back pain only to be told by someone else Oh well you need to strengthen your core!!
Like with a lot of words that get over used they become misrepresented or misunderstood, so what really is the core?
Back about 15 years ago we didn’t use the word core we trained Abs (Abdominals) which is the superficial muscles of the belly (trunk) so we did crunches and sit up’s and back extensions.
Then then about 8 years ago or so we learnt about the inner and outer unit and how these muscles worked to stabilize the spine which then brought about thinking of these muscles as the “Core” so we then started using more tension types of exercises such as planks and holds, and things like platies became the go to for core strength. We then and now have advertising and gimmicks telling and selling us on “core” this and “core that.
We are now in 2014 and we need to be more progressive with our understanding and our thinking, people are still training and exercise with exercises and thought processes that are 15+ years regressed and it’s not just the weekend warriors that do this unfortunately its personal trainers as well.
Now I’m not suggesting there isn’t a place for isolating our stomach muscles but you should have a good reason and purpose for doing that. Because the real secret with this word core or core training is that a good program integrates the core in all of the exercises. What I will say about sit ups or crunches is think about the posture we’re in most of the day (sitting) our spines are in this forward flexion constantly and then we think strengthen the core and guess what we do repetitive flexion (crunches and sit ups ) the spine will only take so much repeat flexion it wasn’t meant to flex isolated from the rest of the body!
What we need to understand is When it comes to the core the core doesn’t have a beginning and an end it doesn’t just reside to our mid-section the core is essentially longitude maps of anatomy ( muscle and facial lines) in other words it integrates from your hands to your feet and your feet to your hands.
What you can do is what’s called a self-limiting exercise meaning a self-limiting exercise will restrict you from doing a high volume and intensity based on your technical correctness if you haven’t tried jump rope then try it cause there is only so much you can do and you need good tall alignment and its reflex core driven or try crawling on all 4s with your knees just off the floor and balance a half full water bottle on your lower back and crawl forward and then backward.
At move pain free we do a movement screen you to see how you sequence your core musculature with your whole body in fundamental movement patterns.
And we use developmental progressions to re sequence and then add our progressions when the client has adapted, our goal is not to assess muscles but assess movements.