As athletes attend their training sessions they often neglect the core and stretch sessions…here’s why the core sessions are equally if not MORE important than a regular training session. Core muscles are vital and they don’t always get worked enough with just regular training sessions.
Think of your core muscles – the chest, back, abs, and obliques – as the link in a chain connecting your upper and lower body. No matter what your movement, the motions either start from your core, or is transferred through it.
Weak core muscles contribute to slouching. Good posture trims your silhouette and projects confidence. More importantly, it lessens wear and tear on the spine and allows you to breathe deeply.
No matter what movements you do or where the movement starts, your arms and legs all stem from the core, the strength in your limbs are intimately tied to the strength in your torso. Having a strong core sets a solid foundation for strength in the rest of the body the power is transferred upward and downward to adjoining parts of the body. For example when running, core strength allows the pelvis, hips, and lower back to work together more smoothly, with less rocking & thus, less excess energy expended. A strongly built-up core will considerably increase the power, posture & speed.
Core strength for endurance athletes is especially important! Towards the end of long training sessions or races, when you are extremely fatigued, your form begins to suffer if the core has not been trained – it is a fantastic feeling when running to know the core engages and is enabling you to stay strong. Poor form not only slows you down, it also opens you up to potential injuries.
While it’s important to build a strong core, the program must be structured to involve all muscles, over training only abdominal muscles and neglecting muscles of the back and hip can set you up for injuries.
5 CORE exercises to build your engine:
You can use your body weight or the Bosu for a harder option.
3. Bicycle Abs
4. Mountain Climbers
5. Roll Outs
Your arms and legs are the wheels of your body (vehicle), without a strong core (engine) you will never go faster, hit your top speed and achieve your best performance!
National Swimming and Programming Manager
Fitness First MENA