Secrets to effective Core Training

When it comes to abdominal or “core training,” most people do crunches and not much else.  This exercise might help you achieve “six pack” abs, but if you want to perform better, take this approach.  The key is to incorporate 3 different types of moves for complete core training.  

The first type of move is flexion/extension, which is basically what a crunch is.  The problem with crunches is that if you perform them on the floor you will not be able to go into extension.  This means that s you are only doing half of the move.  Instead, try crunching on a therapy ball.  Perform each repetition in a slow and controlled motion, and be sure to stretch out over the top of the ball.  If you haven’t done this before you probably won’t be able to do many more than 15 reps.  

The next move is stabilization, which is an isometric contraction of all the core muscles.  This type of move conditions the muscles that protect the spine while the limbs are moving.  This is extremely important in all types of sports and activities, and will help reduce the risk of low back injuries.  Try a plank, where you maintain a straight back position while balancing on your elbows and toes.  Do not let your lower back arch and don’t let you shoulder blades round or pop up.  Shoot for 30-45 seconds to start.

The third and most important type of move to put into your workout routine is rotation.  Most sporting events have a rotational component (just take a look at golfers, tennis players and baseball pitchers and batters to get the idea).  Grab a medicine ball or weight and sit on the floor with your knees bent in front of you.  Lean back slightly and then move the weight side to side.  Do this at a semi-fast pace until you start to lose form or slow down.

Once you have mastered these moves, you can go to more advanced versions.  For upgrades of these basic moves, contact me at www.bootcamp-ct.com.

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