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Core Training : Part 2

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Why are there no Planks, Crunches or Sit-Ups?

How does this happen?

Over time, if muscles are habitually shortened or lengthened (by being in the same position all day) they will eventually adapt and become chronically shortened or lengthened.

Case in point: Most people spend the majority of their day sitting. While sitting, they assume a position of hip flexion, which shortens the hip flexors.

If you check the amount of hip extension in a person who sits all day and it is guaranteed that it will be less than ideal due to their tight hip flexors.

The remedy to this situation is achieved not only by stretching the hip flexors but also by strengthening the hip extensors, which have most likely lengthened as a result of constant sitting.

If a joint’s mobility is affected, it is because something is tight (and short) while something else is lengthened.

Both issues have to be addressed if improvements are to be made.

The shoulders need to be in the proper position to function well. If the shoulder is pulled forward by a tight (shortened) pectoralis muscle and weak scapular stabilizers, it affects the proper movement of the shoulder joint in a way that can easily lead to injury.

One of the easiest ways to tell if someone is at risk for a shoulder injury is to look at their shoulder blades. If the shoulder blades sit against the rib cage and slide easily along it, then the shoulder is healthy. But if the shoulder blades are pulled off of the rib cage, then there is a problem.

Posture, Posture, Posture!!!

Our Novice Core Program includes exercises to pull the shoulders back, strengthen the lumbar support muscles and strengthen the hip extensors. This will allow the pelvis to roll into position so that you take advantage of the glutes, open the chest and lengthen the abdominals. With a good posture, you will be breath deeper and utilise more muscles to drive you forward.

If you’re a human in the 21st century, the odds are good that you have a less than optimal posture. Years of sitting at a desk or driving a motor vehicle have rounded your shoulders. If you’re a cyclist (Road or Mountain Bike) or a triathlete or duathlete, it’s probably worse because you spend hours bent over the handlebars or in the Time Trial position when not at your desk.​ Photo by Chris Peeters

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[HannahWells 

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Core Training: Part 1

Table of Contents

Why do Core Exercises?

A strong core is one that can hold a tense, secure position – protecting the spine and enabling the arms and legs to produce force – for much more than 8 or 10 repetitions. The concept is similar to guide wires on a bridge that, when properly tightened, hold the bridge steady while thousands of cars drive over it.

Why do Isometric Core Exercises?

Isometric, stemming from the words “same” (iso) and “length” (metric), simply translates to holding one position without moving. Because flexibility, balance and power stem from your core, it’s imperative to train this area of the body. We start with isometric versions of the core exercises to set the groundwork for later more dynamic and compound movements.

*Dynamic Core Exercises will be addressed in the Intermediate and Advanced sections of the strength blog.

What Are Isometric Core Exercises?

Isometric core exercises are contractions of a particular muscle or group of muscles making up the core. During these isometric exercises, the muscle doesn’t noticeably change length and the affected joint doesn’t move.

Isometric exercises don’t effectively build strength but they hold your midsection stable while you exert high forces.

Because isometric exercises are done in one position without movement, they’ll improve strength in only one particular position. Since isometric exercises are done in a static position, they won’t help improve speed or athletic performance but they can be useful, however, in enhancing stabilization — maintaining the position of the affected area — since core muscles often contract isometrically to aid in stabilization. 

“They may not make you faster, but they will help prevent you going slower.”

 

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Intermediate

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