Think movements to train the “core” muscles and you’ll probably rattle off planks, situps, and crunches.
If your goal is to have a fitter more functional body, you need to train your body in positions that mimic more natural patterns of activity.
Laying on your back or in a plank position are not those positions.
I’m not saying that planks are easy or that situps fail to activate anterior (front of your body) core muscles.
What I’m saying is that the patterns of both of these movements do not transfer very well to functional real life situations where supporting heavy loads and reacting quickly against outside forces is paramount to improved athletic performance and injury prevention.
Is there a place for planks and more isolated core movements? Absolutely. I use a variety of static holds in programming for people coming back from injury, clients who are new to fitness, and as regressive teaching tools.
However, to train the core more effectively it must be trained as a part of multi-joint, compound movement. Squatting, deadlifting, crawling, throwing, sprinting, and jumping are some (but not all!) of the best movements that develop a more functional core.
Steelworks Strength Systems’ Personal Training client Kevin L., has been crushing his weaknesses! During out initial assessment, Kevin’s core tested weak in a variety of planes of movement. His program’s complexity has ranged from the very simple (lots of pushups!) to the more advanced, as you’ll see here in the two videos.
At least once a week, Kevin performs single leg lateral and medial jumps. When he started, he was using an agility ladder.
Really low amplitude jumps were difficult for him to stabilize on the landing.
Fast forward three months and Kevin is moving with better control over higher barriers.
This is in large part due to improved patterning from the whole body. Notice how in the second video he uses his arms to help drive the movement and also stabilize during the landing; he squeezes his hands which cues tension throughout his core and entire body.
If you are ready to explore your own athletic potential, our 6 Week Intro Training Program at Steelworks is just the thing for you!
Program starts November 11 and ends December 21.
ONLY 7 MORE SPOTS are left in the program! ACT NOW!