Friday, July 11, 2008

Client Sports Fitness Question of the Week, 2

To be honest, this question applies to everyone but it was asked in the context of playing sports. So, here it is:

Client Q: What is the main strength weakness that you see in athletes that you train?

Mark's A: This one is easy! Inadequate core strength is the weakness I see most in the athletes I begin to train. And, the injury I see most as a result of a weak core is low back pain injuries.

When an athlete strengthens the extremities (limbs) before adequately strengthening the core, that is the opposite of how she or he should train. Your body's core consists of the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex, thoracic spine and cervical spine.

THE CORE is your body's center of gravity and all movement begins with the core. Many athletes have sufficient extremity strength, but few athletes display sufficient core strength. A strong and stable core will maximize your extremity strength and power.

A core strengthening program involves using many muscles in a coordinated movement. Rather than isolating specific joints as in most weight lifting exercises, core stability exercises focus on working the deep muscles of the entire torso at once (time under tension). Stability ball exercises, bridges, planks, low back extensions, medicine ball exercises, etc. are great for strengthening core muscles.

Some coaches and trainers are eager to teach the "more glamourous" plyometric and speed exercises while leaving core and strength training lacking. Plyometric and speed training are "high risk, high reward" exercises.

If the athlete's core strength/stability and overall body strength/stability is not adequate, plyometric and speed training is a recipe for disaster!

Read my article series on core training to learn more.

Download your FREE 10-Minute Strength and Power Workouts now!

Other things being equal, a muscular, powerful athlete will outperform a fat, slower or skinny, weaker athlete. Sports Fitness Hut's Fat Blaster Athletic Power Training System will give you your "lean and mean" athletic machine!

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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2 comments:

  1. I tend to push the core training as well. If for no other reason that to maintain good posture as we age. Either way, a strong core to me is essential to everything we do on a daily basis--getting out of bed, picking up toys, walking...you name it, the core is involved in some way. Thanks for sharing.

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