This year I took the pledge to post an unique exercise all 365 days of 2021. With each exercise I planned to post the purpose and benefits. To make this a little bit easier in organizing my thoughts, I decided I would create a topic for every week. Week 1 topic was exercises that every athlete should include in their training program at some point. Before I get criticized for not including squats, deadlifts, paloff press, etc; yes those are all great exercises and absolutely should be included in a training plan, but i am planning on using them for other weeks.
What makes up an “athletic core”?
An athlete’s core needs to be stable! Core stability is defined as “the ability of passive and active stabilizers in the lumbopelvic region to maintain appropriate trunk and hip posture, balance and control during both static and dynamic movement” In athletes being able maintain a stable core becomes much more difficult. Not only do you have external forces, such as players hitting you, manipulating an object, etc, affecting your body and creating instability. But also your muscles are creating a tremendous amount of force, that is pulling on your pelvis, spine etc. To be able to handle these large forces, and control our lumbopelvic region, we need to train our bodies to be able to dynamically absorb large forces.
Common Issues with core training in athletes:
Too many of the core exercises, that many in the fitness industry push lack the proper amounts of load, task specificity, and also lack dynamic motion. To properly load and properly build the motor control of the core, I strongly suggest utilizing Eccentric bias in much of our core training. We are able to load the entire core system significantly more using eccentric muscle contractions(Think lowering the portion of the squat) then we can during concentric portion(standing portion of the squat).
There are many ways to bias the eccentric portion of an exercise. However, in many of the exercises that I include in this article, I simply use physics and manipulate where the center of mass is from the motion.