Have you ever noticed that we don’t do tons of “core” workouts? It’s something that I hear every now again, “We should do more core! Can you program more core workouts? Can we do more sit-ups?”
There is a large and very popular misconception that you have to be doing oodles of sit-ups, crunches, toes to bar, etc. in order to have a strong, rock-solid core. While these exercises are useful, if you only do these movements to strengthen your core you are missing out!
The core has 2 main functions: flexion of your trunk (like the forward contraction of a sit-up) AND stability (keeping your middle and spine from moving). The function that we need to focus on to prevent injury and improve performance is STABILITY. Think about it – every time we deadlift, squat, press, clean, jump, run, pick up our kids, lift anything we are trying to prevent our spine from moving. Movement of the spine under load = INJURY. In order to stay strong, healthy, and get those PR’s we all want, we need to practice and improve the ability to contract and stabilize our middle without motion – rotation, flexion,or extension.
So HOW do we do this? There are plenty of exercises to add to your regimen – besides just an understanding of bracign and contracting while lifting, you can also practice movements like:
- Hollow Holds
- Planks – front and side
- Glute bridges focusing on core contraction with hip movement
- Bird dogs – there should be NO movement of the spine as you extend your arm/leg
- Palloff holds and presses
Start incorporating a couple of these before or after your workouts or talk to your coaches for more ideas!