What is Core Strength?
Core is in the center of your body. It needs to be strong in order to support the weight of your entire body, including your back and neck.
Adding core strengthening to your exercise routine can help protect your back and neck. By boosting your core strength, you’ll also be less likely to rely on other back pain treatments, such as medications.
It’s important to incorporate exercises that work the whole core. You should involve the major muscles in your abdomen, including your internal and external obliques and the transverse abdominals.
Core Training for Sport
Any athlete must have a tremendous amount of core strength to perform at an elite level. They must be able to perform in intense and sometimes chaotic settings. They must be able to engage their core and brace for impact in some instances.
They can better prepare by doing dynamic core activities as well as integrated core movements.
Core strength exercises strengthen your core muscles, including your abdominal muscles, back muscles and the muscles around the pelvis. Strong core muscles make it easier to do many physical activities.
Learning to engage their core, brace and breathe during these movements will prepare them for their sport.
For example, a weighted medicine ball can be used to improve chest pass basketball performance for an athlete, or it can be used as a personal training activity for someone who does not play basketball but wants to improve his or her fitness level.
How to Integrate Core Exercises
The most important component in building an exercise program that includes core training is the safety of the participants. A health history questionnaire given prior to participation can provide valuable information regarding readiness to exercise. If someone has an injury or illness they might not be ready to engage in a core exercise program and a physician’s clearance should be obtained.
For healthy individuals, or those cleared to participate conditionally, core training should be part of a comprehensive exercise program. It’s important to get adequate sleep each night for recovery and the rebuilding of muscle tissue with proper nutrition and rest, core exercise programs will be much more effective.
Follow steps to implement core exercises in your training:
- Decide on the days of the week that the training will take place. Three days per week with one or more days of rest between them should allow adequate recovery and significant stimulation of the neuromuscular system.
- Determine the duration of the workouts. Fifteen minutes of exercise per training session can stimulate change and help to avoid the potential for injury and over training. As tolerance is built up, the length of time can slowly be increased.
- Choose the intensity of the exercise. It is important to start at a low intensity level. By doing this, the chance of injury and soreness is reduced and the chance for success is increased which can be encouraging to participants.
- Select the exercises or activities that will make up the core training exercise program.
Types of Core Training Exercise:
Banded Hip Thrust
The banded hip thrust is a fantastic exercise that will strengthen and develop the glutes. If you have the right equipment, and if you do the exercise correctly, it’s one of the best glute builders out there.
- Improving glute strength;
- Increasing glute size;
- Improving aesthetics of glutes (higher, rounder, firmer);
- Improving performance in athletics;
- Improving performance in the weight room;
- Reducing overall risk of injury, as strong glutes can help take stress off the lower back and also positively affect the mechanics of the hips, knees, ankles, and feet;
- They train the quads and hamstrings as well, but to a much lesser degree, making them especially useful for women who want to increase the size of their glutes without significantly altering the size of their legs.
How You Can Perform It:
✅Slow the frick down. The movement ends up being all in the lower back and not in the hip/glute
✅Cue the shoulders to be externally rotated
✅Head follows the hinge. As you hinge and your torso moves, your head should follow
✅Take a resistance band, double loop it, and wrap it around the bottom of your foot and your thigh
✅Foot stays flat on the floor and be sure to push through the heel. Keep a controlled tempo and “feel” the glute fire at the top
✅Pause for a 1-2 second count and repeat. ,
Tall Kneeling Lift
Everything starts in the core, so it makes sense to utilize exercise selection to adhere to these baselines.
Tall kneeling lift are great for integrating core stability with hip mobility and hip stability as well.
Providing a stability stimulus in the tall-kneeling lift exercise variation offer the base for core development.
- Put our core/trunk “on an island,” and force them to provide stability
- In the split-stance variations, you can receive stability and feedback from the leg which is out in front
- By going from a split-stance to tall kneeling, your core and hips are really forced to work hard to provide stability
- Provide maximal carryover to big-bang exercises that are performed in a parallel stance such as squats, deadlifts, etc.
How You Can Perform It
✅Set-up in a tall kneeling position with the knees underneath the hips, the body long/tall, and the core gently braced
✅Pull across the body
✅Return to body
✅Return to starting position
Anti-rotation Sled Drags
Progression from the conventional anti-rotational means, anti-rotation sled dragging allows the athlete to create stability and engage lower body movement across a distance. This exactly mimics how we move. Movement is coordinated diagonally across lats to the opposite glute complex or from shoulder to opposite hip. The thoracolumbar fascia (TLF) coordinates this transverse co-contraction to engage movement, provides stability and prevents rotation.
The movement, at first, might seem trivial. But as you start to perform the sled dragging variation, you’ll immediately notice the torque and subsequent requirement to fight rotation. The athlete should remain neutral and fixed with their torso and drive forward forcefully.
- It has potential for developing work capacity, and strength (mobility and stability throughout this new range of motion) in the engaged joints;
- Fat loss;
- Building muscle;
- Improving energy;
- Reducing the risk of injuries;
- Multi-planar strength and stability;
- Increase your speed;
How You Can Perform It:
✅Set up a sled with about 10 feet of strap length and a handle you can easily hold on to
✅Facing perpendicular to the sled, grab the handle with the hand that is furthest away from the sled so that you have to reach across your body
✅Step away from the sled until there is tension on the strap and you are reaching across your body as far as you can. Note that you should twist your hips as much as possible, not keep them facing perpendicular to the sled
✅Pull briskly and powerfully, extending your arm out as far as you can. This is not a slow movement, be explosive
✅Reset your position by side shuffling until you’re at the position described in step 3
Strengthening the lower back needs to be done with a focus on connecting all of the muscles that extend the hips. Very frequently, focusing on activating and strengthening the glutes will reduce and, in some cases, completely alleviate lower back pain. This exercise works particularly well for sacroiliac joint problems.
- The reverse hyper is very therapeutic for the low back because it rotates the sacrum on each rep
- They build the hamstrings, glutes, spinal erectors and also traction the low back by rotating the sacrum and rehydrating the disks
- This machine is that it tractions the vertebrae while you use it so it builds strength and works at restoration at the same time
How You Can Perform It
✅Lie face down on the edge of a bench or Roman chair so that your hips are off the bench. Grab onto the sides of the bench or the hand grips of the Roman chair
✅Legs should hang down nearly straight. Begin exercise by bracing your core and raising your legs up until they are in line with your torso. Hold for 2-3 seconds, then lower back down
✅Repeat as necessary