Strengthen your weak core area or you don't have a chance to succeed in your sport. Your power output will suffer. Your risk of injury also increases when your core is weak.
Powerful athletic movements initiate with or transfer through your core area.
For example, the best way to increase arm speed is that power needs to be transferred from your legs through your core to your throwing arm.
This will increase your arm speed and throwing miles-per-hour (MPH). Many athletes have strong, powerful legs but weak cores......that will give you a POWER SHORTAGE!
It should be noted that exercises like squats, deadlift and standing shoulder presses also work your core big-time. Just brace your torso (as if getting ready to take a punch) when you do the exercises to engage your core area.
Core training is also critical for improving your running speed. Here are the basics of how to progress with your core training:
1. Slow to Fast
2. Known to Unknown
3. Stable to Controlled to Dynamic
4. Low Force to High Force
5. Correct Execution to Increased Intensity
You can start at the highest level of core stabilization training that you can control.
The dimensions of core stabilization training are:
Stabilization - The core exercises at this level involve little joint motion and are designed to provide optimum neuromuscular control. An example would be the plank:
Strength - At this level of core training, isometric exercises are replaced with dynamic, multi-planar and multi-dimensional exercises with the full range of motion. An example would be the ball back extension:
Power - At this level, sport-specific core exercises are used in all 3 planes of motion with the entire contraction velocity spectrum (different speeds). An example would be the medicine ball rotational throw:
Advanced core exercises should be performed in a standing position because most athletic movements are made on your feet. When you do standing core exercises, you engage all of the trunk and hip stabilizer muscles and not just the abdominals and low back.
For beginning athletes, start with low-intensity exercises and master technique/improve strength. Then you’ll progress to lying, sitting, kneeling, standing, standing on one leg and power (high speed) exercises. Failure to follow these progressions will lead you to certain injuries like low back pain and trauma.
You should strengthen and condition your core area all year.
Be sure and get your FREE download, "Posture and Core Conditioning" by David Grisaffi to lessen your chances of having back injuries.
Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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