“CORE” ACTIVATION

Your “CORE” contributes significantly to daily function and more specifically to athletic movements. Many daily movements require energy to be transferred from the legs to the arms (or vice versa) through the core to complete the task. The same is true for athletic movements.

Let’s take a step back and define your “CORE”.  Many scientifically based journals and professionals have defined the core in slightly different ways. Most will agree that the core consists of the muscles that help support your spine, provide stability, and help generate power during athletic movements. Your core is not just your abdominal muscles, but a collection of muscles that work together to provide support and function. These muscles primarily consist of the rectus/transverse abdominis, internal/external obliques, erector spinae, latissimus dorsi, iliocostalis, and multifdus. Some also say the gluteal muscles are also included.

It is also reasonable to think that the core could influence lower extremity injury risk by altering loading because the core is responsible for position about half of an athlete’s body mass over the lower extremity at risk. Many common misconceptions of how to activate the core can lead to wasted time and possible injury. But incorporating specific muscle groups effectively can build core endurance, increase strength, and reduce injury.

Below are 2 great exercises to help achieve a stronger core:

Birddog: Begin on all 4s and raise one arm straight along with extending the opposite leg so both limbs are parallel with the floor. Repeat on the opposite side.

Side Plank: Begin on your side, forearm/elbow on ground with feet stacked. Raise hips off ground. Hold position for 20-30sec.

 

 Birddog

 

 

 

 

 

Side Plank

 

 

 

 

Reference:

1. Szelog, Matthew. 2012. Core Exercises: What is the Core and How do you Activate it? National Strength & Conditioning Association: Performance Training Journal (11.5) .

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