Monday, May 6, 2013

CORE = ABS...An Incomplete Equation





Core training: A now almost essential part of many individuals’ training schedule.  A strong and stable core can prevent injury not only to the spine but also prevent injury to the rest of the body through stabilization. 
Let’s take a look at the core and core training more closely and along the way dispel a few misconceptions that the media and the random person at the gym, spewing “helpful tips”, have created.



       1.   First off, your abdominals (abs) are NOT your core.  They are part of the core, a large network of muscles that help stabilize not only your spine and torso, but your entire body while in motion and while stable.  Focusing on isolation exercises like crunches will only strengthen part of your core.  Furthermore the muscles of the core do not act in isolation so doing only crunches or ab exercises for core strengthening would be an incomplete way to train your core.

    2.    Core training is NOT about balance boards/wobble boards.  Stability training is helpful for patients needing to reactivate stabilizing muscles after injuries, but for someone who has not had any injuries that prevent activation of stabilizing musculature this is an incorrect way to train.  Trying to stabilize on an unstable surface is not going to create greater stability.  You are essentially adding instability to instability. The muscles and body need to adapt and stabilize on a stable surface.

3.      Core activation has been popularized in the media for “greater” benefits.  However the core is not something that should be activated all the time, the goal would be rather to have a core that has very little activation throughout our daily movements. A core that is active all the time means that the body is very unstable. This may sound a bit counterintuitive, but if we think about it, it would not make sense for a person to be doing a simple action or exercise with large amounts of core muscle activation. This would be like your body struggling and shaking while walking, the less your core has to activate, the more stability there is to the body.

4.      Core training is NOT only about bodyweight exercises.  Once the body adapts to movements there is little to no adaptation.  Adding in functional movements with unconventional training like sandbags, kettle bell movements, and parachute sprints can ensure that the body is always adapting and continues to improve.  This is a principle called progressive overload.

5.      Core strength is NOT only about slow movements.  Life does not consist of slow movements all the time.  Life and sports are explosive and you must train the core to transfer forces efficiently, not only in slow movements. You must incorporate more dynamic movements to supplement your workout. Exercises such as medicine ball throws, and elastic band snap downs are a couple of examples.

6.      Core strength is NOT possible without attention to breathing!  Regulating your breathing patterns plays an important role in stabilizing the torso during any type of movement. “Bracing” is very important in weight training and power exercises such as the Olympic lifts. This is very important for all sports as they ALL require fast and powerful movements.

7.      Core strength is NOT only about the muscles you can see!  If you are just working on your “six pack abs” you will be missing many muscles that lie underneath (transverse abdominus, external and internal obliques)

8.      Core strength is NOT about doing high volume sets! "I do 300 crunches, 400 crunches, 1000 crunches a day, to maintain my six pack!" Realistically, if you want a "six pack", you need to be more focused on overall nutrition. And if you want core strength, you need to build up the core musculature comprehensively, i.e., both the anterior (front) chain and the posterior (rear) chain with compound exercises. Let me ask you a question. If you can do 300, 400 or 1000 crunches, how hard can they be? You should focus on good quality exercises executed with proper form and focus on tension throughout the movement. This means a core-specific movement or compound movements should be incorporated with control (proper bracing) through the entire range of motion. Explosive core movements, such as medicine ball throws, can be added once an individual has shown proficiency with the basic movement patterns.

9.      Core strength is NOT developed by always wearing a weight belt.  In fact you will be doing yourself more harm than good by always wearing a weight belt.  Belts are a great tool. A great tool to make you weak! Belts should only be used when needed, as in 1 rep max, not all of the time. If you are loading above 85%+ of the lifter or athlete’s one rep max (referred to as 1RM), a belt can then be used. Note: The 1RM is the absolute or total amount the lifter can lift in the respective exercise.  

Our bodies naturally create intra-abdominal pressure to lift heavy objects and perform movements quickly and powerfully through the core muscles. The transversus abdominis (transverse abdominis) is the body's natural weightlifting belt that stabilizes the spine and pelvis as you lift objects.  This muscle strengthens as you lift without a belt. If you use a belt you are training your body to not produce this intra-abdominal pressure on its own, leading to injuries when there is no weight belt present to provide that pressure. This can lead to hernias, and lower back injuries that can be pretty serious.

10  Core strength is NOT about "six pack abs"

Strongman competitors are some of the strongest people in the world and all have varying degrees of leanness in the abdominal area, in a sport where a strong core is THE most essential component to a competitor.

As stated, just because you’re ripped or shredded doesn’t mean anything when it comes to core strength. A ripped core only speaks to your current level of percentage of body fat. Having a strong core means that you are able to demonstrate stability across the torso during body movement.  More specifically, you can maintain proper positioning and bracing when your extremities (arms and legs) are in motion for any kind of activity.

 CONCLUSION

The human core is in pretty much everything that is not an extremity. Having a strong core will ensure that you can reach your goals, whether they be strength, speed, power, definition, size, endurance etc. Strengthen the core and you will reach new limits in your training. 

The following is a list of the muscles that make up the core of the human body.

·         Rectus Abdominis - located along the front of the abdomen, this is the most well-known abdominal muscle and is often referred to as the "six-pack" due to it's appearance in fit and thin individuals.
·         Erector Spinae- This group of three muscles runs along your neck to your lower back.
·         Multifidus - located under the erector spinae along the vertebral column, these muscles extend and rotate the spine.
·         External Obliques - located on the side and front of the abdomen.
·         Internal Obliques - located under the external obliques, running in the opposite direction.
·         Transverse Abdominis (TVA) - located under the obliques, it is the deepest of the abdominal muscles (muscles of your waist) and wraps around your spine for protection and stability.
·         Hip Flexors - located in front of the pelvis and upper thigh. The muscles that make up the hip flexors include: psoas majorilliacusrectus femorispectineussartorius
·         Gluteus medius and minimus - located at the side of the hip
·         Gluteus maximushamstring grouppiriformis - located in the back of the hip and upper thigh leg.
·         Hip adductors - located at medial thigh.


Turo Gamez NSCA-CPT



Category. (n.d.). The Best Core Exercises and Core Workouts. Sports Medicine, Sports Performance, Sports Injury - Information About Sports Injuries and Workouts for Athletes. Retrieved May 3, 2013, from http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/abdomina

Willardson, J. M. (2007). Core Stability Training: Applications to Sport Conditioning Programs. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research,21(3), 979-985.

63 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing valuable information. Nice post. I enjoyed reading this post. The whole blog is very nice found some good stuff and good information here Thanks.

    Personal Training Certified
    Also visit my page

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great article! There are a ton of misconceptions when it comes to core training. I’m a big fan of stability balls.It is a great way to improve core strength and improve balance and stability.
    stability balls

    ReplyDelete
  3. Amiable articles and the blogs really helped me a lot, thanks for the valuable information.
    phrhs assisted living

    ReplyDelete
  4. getridofcelluliteinfo.comIt's been good to see your blog when I always look for such type of blogs. It’s great to discover the post here.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is an excellent blog along with the great knowledge. http://riversidefamchiro.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Balance training is helpful for patients having to reactivate stabilizing muscle tissue after accidents. Great tips.
    Stair Lifts Doctor

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is actually a fantastic blogs! More of these details are superb -it is nice to see one that current. kettle bell set

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is actually a fantastic blogs! More of these details are superb -it is nice to see one that current.
    HGH MD

    ReplyDelete
  9. congratulations guys, quality information you have given!!! kiro fys

    ReplyDelete
  10. congratulations guys, quality information you have given!!! Advanced Alternative Medicine Center

    ReplyDelete
  11. congratulations guys, quality information you have given!!! the paleo review

    ReplyDelete
  12. I constantly emailed this site post page to all my friends, because if prefer to read it then my all friends will too. The Plastic Surgeon Miami

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wonderful, just what a blog it is! This blog has provided the helpful data to us continue the good work. naperville chiropractor

    ReplyDelete
  14. I certainly appreciate your stuff provided in the blogs. natural muscle growth

    ReplyDelete
  15. Really amazing blog, I’d love to discover some extra information. the paleo review

    ReplyDelete
  16. congratulations guys, quality information you have given!!! the paleo review

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hey to everyone, it’s my first visit of the blog site; this blog includes awesome and actually best info for the visitors. http://123mommymakeovers.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. congratulations guys, quality information you have given!!! syed shaff

    ReplyDelete
  19. I wanna thanks to a great extent for providing such informative and qualitative material therefore often. cosmetic dentist

    ReplyDelete
  20. Really amazing blog!!! I enjoyed the complete article? enormous written. dating advice

    ReplyDelete
  21. Balance training is useful for patients needing to reactivate stabilizing muscle tissues after accidents. Sound good! Christa's Blog

    ReplyDelete
  22. Nice website full of quite interesting and informative posts, so must keep on good working! click here

    ReplyDelete
  23. Your blog is really attention-grabbing for me; I will definitely bookmark your website. Thanks read more

    ReplyDelete
  24. In actual fact the blogging is spreading its wings fast. Your write up is the best example of it. website

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hey thanks for such amazing blog! I have learnt a lot from there. Nice try!!! vitiligo makeup

    ReplyDelete
  26. You have discusses incredible points that sounds good, keep up the great work. somatodrol funciona

    ReplyDelete
  27. I extremely LOVE this blog!! I just desire I will get more posts for great information. http://herbycoupon.com/quest-bar-review-and-coupon-code/

    ReplyDelete
  28. I extremely LOVE this blog!! I just desire I will get more posts for great information. http://herbycoupon.com/quest-bar-review-and-coupon-code/

    ReplyDelete
  29. You’ve put enormous insights about the topic here, continue the good work! sixtyonenorth.com diet supplements

    ReplyDelete
  30. Actually this is quite helpful, I always come up here randomly, but always noticed great thing that make my aim.
    PurelyHealth.org

    ReplyDelete
  31. Keep on sharing such wonderful information! I am with you to appreciate on every post!
    maximum shred

    ReplyDelete
  32. Cheers! You have really allured me; I have no words to explain my feelings about your post. maximum shred

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hi, just essential you to know I have added your site to my Google bookmarks due to your latest and inspiring information. wholelife ins

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hmmm I just shared this post with others because the quality of write-up is amazing. http://bestsizegeneticsreviews.com/

    ReplyDelete
  35. I am truly inspired from your write-up and sharing this too with my friends and colleagues. how to build muscle and lose fat

    ReplyDelete
  36. Having studied this I considered this post was very edifying. I appreciate you have put the nice efforts in this blog. Private Duty Home Care Phoenix

    ReplyDelete
  37. Core training, to block injury not only to the spine and help to stop scratches to the residual body through stabilization. I definitely to get core training that basically valuable in future's accidents. weight loss

    ReplyDelete
  38. I really needed the information like that, I don’t think so I have to go anywhere for further information when I’ve got all info at one place. http://tragamonedasx.com/tragaperras-gratis/

    ReplyDelete
  39. The most wide-ranging data I have ever got on this topic on the net. I will be right back soon to the same site…. how to overcome gambling

    ReplyDelete
  40. I am very overwhelmed with your blog. The quality of the content really makes it an actual winner! recommended auto insurance deductibles

    ReplyDelete
  41. This is actually a nice stuff present in the post; this was the thing which I had been searching for a long time. zynga poker chips for sale

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hmm this is one of my favorite blogs; it’s quite simple writing that can help me a lot. nitrogen oxide for bodybuilding works wonders

    ReplyDelete
  43. This blog is absolutely useful; I love the piece of informative writing.the source is http://flexbeltguide.com/

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hmm that’s wonderful; I am a great fan of your website. This is 100% perfect blog. health insurance comparison

    ReplyDelete
  45. Pleasant effort, very edifying, this would help me to complete my task. Thanks for sharing it with us keep it up. authorized user tradelines

    ReplyDelete
  46. Good quality info. Lucky to me I came to your website not on purpose, but now I have bookmarked it. testosterone pellets

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hi buddy! This post is written quite better! Reading throughout this post reminds me of my best friend! I would forward this post to him. visit our website here

    ReplyDelete
  48. That’s a nice site you people are carrying out there. Bierkrüge

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hi, I don’t understand how to praise of your site. It’s truly amazing! Health Insurance Plantation

    ReplyDelete
  50. I will definitely come back to your site to see more splendid posts like this one. workout plan print out

    ReplyDelete
  51. I’m heartily grateful to you for this marvelous post. And I will come back soon to get more posts. Health Insurance Miami

    ReplyDelete
  52. It is entirely exclusive information; I in fact love reading this many times. Thanks florida family insurance

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hi to everybody, it’s really good for me to come on this site, it gives obliging Information. sixpackfactory.com

    ReplyDelete
  54. This is outstanding information and the best opportunity for the people who want to learn the great knowledge.
    life insurance

    ReplyDelete
  55. Hmmm I have got real pleasure from your blog and also Derived a benefit from this information you imparted to us. Thanks
    oro gold

    ReplyDelete
  56. I really didn’t know all these things before which you have informed us through your best writing.
    Kitchen remodel Lakeville

    ReplyDelete
  57. Cool blog! I found this blog very useful; have learned lots of thing here.
    auto insuranca

    ReplyDelete
  58. I love the way you write your post. Each and everything is simply perfect. Thanks
    auto repair Fremont California

    ReplyDelete
  59. Hmm this post is truly effective; you have defined the core factors in your write-up. Thanks
    Hi guys!! This is actually interesting post, from every point of view it is really outstanding. http://skinnyfiberreviews.net/21-day-fix-extreme/

    ReplyDelete
  60. Big thanks to you for sharing such great information.
    Jen

    ReplyDelete