13th June 2018

COACH K’S – TRAINING TIPS

IMPORTANCE OF CORE STRENGTH

Here wego friends of functionality, lets conquer the world of core. Now when most people think of core strength, they immediately think of their abs. I know if I asked most of you what exercises you think work the core you would immediately think of crunches, sit-ups, leg raises, hanging knee raises, and toes-to-bar. Well, it’s not that simple and I use to think a strong core was having a badass six pack. Before begin our journey into the inner sanctum of the core it’s important to understand that perception is not always reality and the way one’s core looks is not always indicative of their core strength.

WHAT EXACTLY IS THE CORE?

Coach K what is this core you speak of? Let’s take the exercises I mentioned above, they can beamazing when used properly to work your core but please understand that the core is a complex series of muscles that include more than just the Dzsix packdz, it includes everything that’s not an appendage. The core is a necessary component of virtually every movement of the human body. The focal point which is really important to understand is how to properly use our core strength to generate stability and assist with force transfer from one extremity to another. My favourite definition for core stability can be stated asDzthe ability to not change shape even when under stress from intensity and/or load.dzAn example of this is the ability to maintain your posture while squatting, pulling, pushing, etc. Damion Howell explains core strength as the ability of the muscles inthe hip, shoulder girdle, and trunk to work together to form a functional segment. Itis the ability of the core muscles to work inan efficient and coordinated fashion to maintain correct alignment of the spine and pelvis while the limbs are moving [2].

FUNCTION OF THE CORE

The most primal function of the core is stability. It acts as a bridge between the upper and lower extremities and aids in proper biomechanics during movements like deadlifts, overhead squats, and pushups. More often than not, people do not conceptually understand this function of the core and they mostly use itas a prime mover during flexion and extension exercises like crunches or back extensions. Those exercises do have a purpose, but the prime function of our core is stabilisation. The core needs tobe the force transfer center of the body. Research has shown that athletes with higher core stability have a lower risk of injury [1]. We can practice and obtain greater core stability to protect the spine and surrounding musculature by first using static movements like front and side planks or hollow body holds. During static planks, if the belly starts to sag to the floor, this can bean indication of a potentially weak core or, at the very least, poor positioning. This weakness can also be seen during wall walks when athletes have their thighs and belly

2 against the wall rather than just the nose and the toes. Both can be used as a diagnostic tool oranindicator of a weak core. Once static holds are mastered, we can later progress our core stability exercises to incorporate dynamic movements like Olympic lifting, running, or picking up your favourite carton of Emu Export and tossing it over your shoulder. We can make each of these exercises more challenging by simply increasing the time domain, adding load, or enhancing intensity. Itis important, however, to master the basic static core movements before moving onto the dynamic movements.

In addition to the abdominals, athletes should also pay attention to their glutes, back, hip flexors, pelvic floor, and deep abdominals such as the psoas. Ifwe maintain proper body alignment, we give ourselves the best chance to move efficiently. Ifwe can enhance our core strength, we can become better movers. Better movers have a greater chance of lifting more weight, moving weight faster, and moving weight for longer periods of me. That’s right I just revealed the secret to CrossFit world domination.

CORE TRAINING PROGRAM

Below is a sample of core work that may be beneficial in your training regimen: Monday: 3 sets:

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