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EXERCISE - CORE STABILITY

 

The "Core"

The “Core” refers to your mid-section [lower abs, upper abs, obliques and lower back]. It is the core that coordinates all the movements of the other two major regions: the upper body and lower body. Imagine your body as three links in a chain... the upper body, the core and the lower body.

Core strength training is a major focus in pilates and yoga exercises. It uses high tension techniques to train your body to function as one complete unit. This will translate into greater overall performance improvement.

You cannot develop core strength using machines; use of machines eliminates the adaptive stress for the stabilizer muscles in the body. These stabilizer muscles give stability to the core and permit the extremities, to exert force. Lack of core muscle strength will prevent the movement.

Core strength training uses a variety of exercises, stresses and resistance. They can be incorporated into many other exercises; thereby training the body to function as one complete unit. You should look at every exercise you do as core strength training! This is martial arts experts use.

The essence of core stability training is quality of movement and relaxation.

 

The Core Muscle Group

The “Core” refers to those deep trunk muscles, which stabilise the lumbar [lower] spine. They include:

  • Transversus Abdominis (TA)
  • Multifidus (MF)
  • Internal Oblique (IO)
  • Paraspinal
  • Pelvic Floor

The co-contraction of these muscles produce forces which stabilise the lumbar spine, and act directly to resist forces acting on the lumbar spine.
These deep-trunk stabiliser muscles are not involved in producing movements, but instead involve static, or isometric contractions. They are employed continuously throughout everyday activities as well as fitness and sport activities, and so require very good endurance of low-level forces. They do not need to be very strong, but they must be correctly co-ordinated and capable of working continuously.

 

Core Stability Training Program

The training protocol for improving the function of the deep-trunk muscles is very specific, and takes into account the type of contraction, the muscle fibre type and the anatomical position required.

By co-ordinating the training over all the muscles we aim to encourage these stabiliser muscles to hold the lumbar spine in the neutral position, allowing for natural curvature of the spine.

Stage One - Hollowing Contraction

Stage Two – Static Movement

Stage Three – Dynamic Movement

 

Pilates

Pilates is a total body strengthening program designed around the core and is suited to all age groups and fitness levels.

 

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NEXT: Core Exercise Program - Stage 1

Exercise Index | Benefits | Body Type | Guidelines | Personality | Aerobic | Anaerobic | Compound | Fat Burning | Body Shaping | The Core | Weight Training | Stretching | Troubleshooting | Cooldown

 
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