Integration or Isolation?

What are the best kind of exercises to work the core? ACSM looked at two ways to do them, integrated and isolated. Integration exercises are movements that require the activation of distal trunk muscles. Isolation exercises activate only the trunk muscles.
Most would think that isolation exercises would be the best way to train the core. However, incorporating movement with a static hold using a distal trunk muscle has a better effect when working the core. Think of it this way, if you are doing a static isolated plank and add in a lateral or forward arm reach, your core has to engage more and work harder in order for you to keep good plank form. It is more of a challenge to go away from the mid section (core) then with in the mid section (core). Make sense?

What are the best kind of exercises to work the core? ACSM looked at two ways to do them, integrated and isolated. Integration exercises are movements that require the activation of distal trunk muscles.  Isolation exercises activate only the trunk muscles.

Most would think that isolation exercises would be the best way to train the core. However, incorporating movement with a static hold using a distal trunk muscle has a better effect when working the core. Think of it this way, if you are doing a static isolated plank and add in a lateral or forward arm reach, your core has to engage more and work harder in order for you to keep good plank form.  It is more of a challenge to go away from the mid section (core) then with in the mid section (core). Make sense?

There are a lot of different integrated exercise, try them out! Adding in movement away from the core is a great way to make core exercises a little more challenging.

Source: Gottschall, Jinger, Jackie Mills, Bryce Hastings. Integration Core exercises Elicit Greater Muscle Activation than Isolation Exercises. ACSM Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2013

 

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