THE IMPORTANCE OF A STRONG CORE

 

Having a well developed core is always bandied around to be so called ‘functional’ and that does hold some truth, as the benefits of a strong core include having the ability to perform movements more efficiently.

The main muscles that make up the core are external obliques, internal obliques, rectus abdominals, transverse abdominals, tendinous inscriptions, erector spinae, multifidi (1).

Injury Prevention

To be able to perform consistently at the level we want, being injury free will go along way in supporting that goal. At some point in your training career getting injured will most likely occur, but training the core will help increase the prevention of injuries (2,3).

The ability to perform an exercise through its correct range of motion and the stability produced during the movement will be affected by your level of core strength. A weaker core will potentially increase the chance of unwanted movement patterns occurring during the movement (3,4).

Compensatory effects will continue to occur if the core continues to be weak, therefore, adding a few core strengthening exercises in addition to a training program will help reduce the risk of injuries (4).

Performance Benefits

Core strength most likely won’t contribute in developing significant increases in force and power output, but that shouldn't be the only thought when enhancing performance is the goal (5,6).

Developing muscles that contribute to core strength will be the biggest factor in benefitting performance, as the increase in competence of these muscles during the movement will help the transfer of skills be more effective (7). The ability of these muscles to be able to perform will provide the foundation of the movement to be more efficient.

Choosing movements specific to your sport or goal, and implementing them into your current program will be the most appropriate choice to get the benefits of a strong core. The focus on core development should not replace a program but should rather complement it (8).

Exercise Options

  • Bear Crawl 
  • Pallof Press 
  • Cable Lifts 
  • Stability Ball Pike 
  • Side Plank Rotation

Creating a foundation is important before moving onto to exercises that require a greater amount of skill. Regression training can help you get back to basics and build a solid foundation. Check out Regression Training blog for more information. 

Resources 

  1. https://www.acefitness.org/fitness-certifications/ace-answers/exam-preparation-blog/3562/core-anatomy-muscles-of-the-core
  2. https://journals.lww.com/jaaos/Citation/2005/09000/Core_Stability_and_Its_Relationship_to_Lower.5.aspx
  3. https://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/38580518/Leetun_2004.pdf?response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3DCore_Stability_Measures_as_Risk_Factors.pdf&X-Amz-Algorithm=AWS4-HMAC-SHA256&X-Amz-Credential=AKIAIWOWYYGZ2Y53UL3A%2F20191125%2Fus-east-1%2Fs3%2Faws4_request&X-Amz-Date=20191125T123022Z&X-Amz-Expires=3600&X-Amz-SignedHeaders=host&X-Amz-Signature=a2721da07eb3c95c33eb04f08a3c19a69be9fb2c846e433f9f5d6c1e44531a72
  4. https://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Fulltext/2011/01000/Relationship_Between_Core_Stability,_Functional.36.aspx
  5. https://insights.ovid.com/article/00124278-200811000-00005
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22228111
  7. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/23489963_Optimizing_Performance_by_Improving_Core_Stability_and_Core_Strength
  8. http://myweb.wwu.edu/~chalmers/PDFs/Core%20training%20for%20improved%20performance.pdf
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