Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Core Is Critical For Optimal Sports Performance

The body's core is so much more than your "six pack" abs! A strong core will maximize your strength and speed. Since the core is your body's center of gravity and all movement begins with the core, it is essential to strengthen and stabilize it.

A strong core will allow you to handle heavier loads as your training progresses. You will also lessen your chances of injury. About 29 muscles support your core. The major core muscles include:

transversus abdominis - the deepest of the abdominal muscles, it lies under the obliques and wraps around your spine for protection and stability. Think of the transversus abdominis as "your internal weight belt."

external obliques - these muscles are on the side and front of the abdomen and wrap around your waist.

internal obliques - these muscles lie under the external obliques and run in the opposite direction.

rectus abdominis - this is the "six pack" part of the abs that runs down the front of the abdomen.

erector spinae - this collection of muscles runs along your neck to your lower back.

The core muscles are also very important in preventing low back pain. Stability ball exercises, bridges, planks, low back extensions, medicine ball exercises, etc. are great for strengthening core muscles.

Be sure and download your Free Bodyweight 500 Metabolic Fat Burner Workout and start changing your body faster!

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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