Core, what it is and why you should train it
Nowadays, core exercises are included in any workout program thanks to its many benefits. However, before you devote yourself to training it, you must have clear in mind what core training. The term “core” refers to the entire body structure that acts as a bridge between the upper and lower body. More specifically, we consider as core the set of muscles that are located between the abdomen, back and pelvis.
An untrained core is the cause of a weaker and more fragile body, even if the limbs and peripheral muscles are well trained. This is because we must imagine the core as a single structure that creates the “core” (hence its definition) of our skeletal muscle system to support all other structures.
If we take as an example a sport in which throws are expected, such as baseball or tennis, we might mistakenly think that the muscles involved are only those of the upper limbs. Instead, it is important to bear in mind that a good baseball or tennis player generates power from the lower limbs and transfers energy through the core to the upper limbs.
Core training does not only concern the fields of training and performance. On the contrary, it is fundamental in our daily lives. The action of its muscles, in fact, ensures stability and allows generating strength and power transferable to all body districts.
Core training for strength and power development
A trained core is the best support for many sporting gestures that allow the athlete to generate energy from the centre of the body and then to transfer it to the limbs quickly and efficiently. More specifically, the core includes large muscles such as the glutes or the hip flexors, whose mass can produce a lot of strength in a short time.
In those activities that involve rapid hip extensions, such as jumps for example, or rapid hip flexions, such as sprints, being able to benefit from a trained core is essential to start the movement from the centre of the body and then to involve secondary muscles.
Having good stability allows you to be agile and fast to react to unforeseen events, especially in situational sports, where decelerations and changes of direction are continuously repeated. Thanks to the benefits of a trained core, you can control the centre of your body and transfer energy from one limb to another.
For example in the fast and numerous changes of direction typical of tennis, having a strong core means reducing the risk of losing balance or slowing down the game.
In Fast, the training of this body section is oriented in this sense. Bodyweight exercises such as mountain climbers and jumping jacks, as well as others you can do with the help of Skilltools – the Jackknife is the perfect example – are essential to maintain and improve coordination and mobility of the body.
Let’s not forget, however, that the core is not only stimulated during sporting activity; the benefits of a trained core are also found in everyday life.
Core muscles are also called stabilizers precisely in relation to their function of supporting the spine even in a static position. They are responsible for your posture throughout the day. Having a trained core, maybe even with a daily training with planks, will improve your posture and avoid unpleasant pains or imbalances caused by improper attitudes.
Core training for injury prevention
Therefore, if we analyse more generally all the functions of the core we can deduce that optimizing the training and the efficiency of movements also reduces the risk of injury. Returning to the example of the baseball player, if this athlete had a core not sufficiently trained, he would risk straining his shoulder joint excessively to generate strength in the throw.
A trained core can also reduce non-sport-related injuries. Core muscles, thanks to training, react quickly to external stimuli in a reflex manner, ensuring a better balance and a lower probability of injury to joints such as ankle and knee and preserve the health of the back.
How to train your core
For core training, we must refer to the function of the muscles that compose it, so to create a workout routine with the right movements for its training. Using different tools and always varying the exercises are the basic characteristics of Skillathletic training, as well as the best strategy to benefit from a trained core.
If you have never trained your core in a targeted way, start with simple exercises like the plank. The static nature of the exercise allows you to focus on the technical aspect and to make the stabilizing muscles work in the correct position.
Moving on, use tools such as the fitness ball or the balance dome to train your core in unstable conditions. Even if the exercise is static, using these Skilltools will create unpredictable and continuous movements that core muscles will have to fight against.
Once you’ve become familiar with static exercises and created a basis for core training, you can focus on dynamic and explosive gestures that involve both surface and deep muscles. Try to work out with exercises that recall core movements of flexion, extension and rotation, isolated or combined with each other.
Here, you can use both the force of gravity and tools that create a growing resistance, such as elastic bands, or tools such as kettlebells, dumbbells or slam ball.
During every Skillathletic class, you have the opportunity to develop your core to withstand every stimulus. Indeed, the benefits of a trained core are the basis of whatever your final training goal may be.
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