Welcome, Warriors! I’d like to take a minute to talk about core training, and why it is so important to incorporate core work into your every-day training regimen. Let’s start with the basics:
What is the Core?
When we refer to the core, we are not just talking about your sweet six pack. We are talking about the neuro-musclo-skeletal core that composes your entire trunk. This bad boy (also referred to as the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex) is responsible for everything from your posture to your golf swing, and it’s main job is to accelerate, decelerate, and stabilize you during functional movement and exercise.
Let me give you a quick break down of the core musculature, so you have reference to what we are talking about. I will not deep dive into the anatomy, this is just a down and dirty overview.
Local Stabilization System
Muscles that are attached directly to the vertebrae. These high density muscles are responsible for spinal stabilization, and work to reduce compressive, shear, and rotational forces to the spine.
Global Stabilization System
Muscles that attach from the pelvis to the spine. This musculature transfers forces between the upper and lower extremities, and provides stabilization during movement and exercise.
Muscles that attach the spine and pelvis to the extremities. The primary job of these is force production and force deceleration.
The point of the break down above was to show you that there is WAY more to the core than one thinks. We can’t rely on 1000 sit ups to give us what we need; total core work needs it’s own complete training system to be efficient
Why Train the Core?
Many people skip core training, which is absolutely baffling to me, considering the amount of info out there. Your core is literally your foundation, and without it I guarantee you are functioning at sub-optimal levels. In an optimized state, each individual component of the core distributes weight, absorbs force, and transfers ground reaction forces to maintain your balance and center of mass during dynamic movements. If your prime movers (the big ‘show’ muscles) are strong, but your core is weak, insufficient forces will be transferred throughout your body, and your performance will lack.
All basic athletic movements stem from the core: jumping, swinging, kicking, running, throwing, etc. Your trunk needs to be stabilized while high amounts of energy are transferred through your limbs. A strong core will provide a tremendous overall boost to your athletic performance.
Sub-Par performance is the least of your concerns, though. A weak core will dramatically increase your chance for injury, due to muscular imbalances. To put it simply, when one muscle isn’t picking up it’s share of the work, another muscle will, throwing off optimal movement patterns and creating strength imbalances. This wonky, inefficient movement will lead you directly to injury-ville.
WATS 3 Step Method
If you are new to the site, I highly recommend you check out our WATS article. That will give you a complete breakdown of our training methodology, and this section will make more sense.
Our Core Training stays true to the WATS 3 step methodology. It is systematic, progressive, and emphasizes the entire muscle activation spectrum. With out core training, we focus on force production, force reduction, and dynamic stabilization. Our goals with core training are to develop neuromuscular efficiency, stability, and functional strength.
Here is a break down of WATS Core Training:
Phase 1: Core Stabilization
The focus of this phase is on the local core musculature. Our goals here are to improve neuromuscular efficiency and inter-vertebral stabilization. This phase utilizes many variations of planks, supermans, and lying bridges to accomplish our goals.
Phase 2: Core Strength
Phase 2 focuses on more traditional, dynamic core exercises. The goal here is to improve concentric and eccentric strength, enhance our total body neuromuscular control, and improve overall core stability.
Phase 3: Core Power
Third phase is all about improving the core’s rate of force production. These exercise utilize weight, such as a medicine ball, and explosive movements to enhance and improve the overall function of the core.
Utilizing our progressive method is a surefire way to enhance your overall athletic ability. You will notice dramatic changes in your balance, strength, and control in all aspects life. This sets a great foundation for all that you do, and all further training. Stay tuned for a complete WATS core training program, coming soon! In the meantime, don’t hesitate to ask any questions or leave us any comments below.
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