Tag Archives: back pain

Improve Your Life with Core Training

20 Feb

side-plank-mel-1-crop1First of all, understand that when I refer to your core, I’m not only talking about your abs (although your abs are certainly part of your core).

Everybody thinks they want six-pack abs… I get it.  You may be one of those people who suffers through endless sets of planks and situps to achieve your dream of washboard abs.  Good luck with that.

Actually, your core musculature extends from your shoulders through your hips, and contributes to sports performance, balance, posture, strength and power, mobility, and longevity.

Here are some of the benefits of core training – and a strong core:

Be a Better Athlete

Core training can improve your performance in virtually any strength or speed sport.  A strong core allows you to transfer more power to your limbs, which translates to more powerful throwing, kicking, running, jumping, etc.

Better Balance

A strong core is important – whether you’re an athlete or not – because strong core muscles keep your torso in a more stable position whenever you move, whether you’re playing sports or just doing everyday activities.  Core strength helps you avoid injury by making your movements more efficient.

Alleviate Back Pain

Core training can both prevent and control lower-back pain, according to Canadian research.  For individuals with back pain, core exercises that emphasize isometric contraction (exercises that keep you still, like planks, side planks, etc.) are good choices.  At our facility – in addition to those types of exercises – we also favor rotational and anti-rotational exercises.

Better Posture

Stop slouching! Simply stated, core training can help you stand up straight by improving your postural stability.

Improve Your Agility

Research shows that core training – and improvements in core strength – translates to better performance on agility tests (acceleration, deceleration, change of direction) than traditional body-building moves.  At our facility, we focus on training movements – not muscles – for all of our customers, athletes and non-athletes.

Reduce Inflammation

Scientists have found that core training can reduce inflammation markers by as much as 25 percent – not far from the result you’d get from anti-inflammatory medications – including enhanced recovery, well-being, and general health.

Live Longer

Mayo Clinic researchers concluded that increased waist circumference is associated with an increased risk of premature death.  In a review of several studies, they found that men with waists of 43 inches or larger had a 52 percent greater risk of premature death than guys whose waists were 35 inches or smaller; and each 2-inch increase in waist size was associated with a 7 percent jump in death risk.


Your thoughts?

Strengthen Your Back With a Strong Core

5 Dec

Your core is involved in virtually every functional movement your body makes.  And, although most people equate core with abs, these muscles also include your trunk and torso — shoulders through hips.  When your core is strong, it improves balance, stability, and performance while  helping prevent injury.  Your core musculature serves as a powerful foundation for your legs and arms too — which means you can generate more force when you run, jump, and throw.

A Strong Core Means a Strong Back

Usually, abs get most of the credit for protecting the back and serving as the foundation of strength, but they are only a small part of the musculature that makes up the core.  In fact, it is weak and unbalanced core muscles that are linked to low back pain and postural instability.  Weak core muscles result in a loss of the appropriate lumbar curve and poor posture.  Stronger, balanced core muscles help maintain appropriate posture and reduce stress on the spine.

A Strong Core Improves Athletic Performance

By stabilizing the spine, the muscles of the trunk and torso allow the transfer of power to the arms and legs.  The center of the body initiates all powerful movements, and never from the limbs alone.  Before your arms and legs can generate any powerful, rapid muscle contractions, the spine must be solid and stable.  The more stable the core, the more powerfully the extremities can contract.

Core Strengthening Technique

Core strengthening exercises are most effective when the trunk and torso work as a unit and both front and back muscles are activated simultaneously. Compound movements — those which engage multiple joints and muscle groups —  are preferred because of their beneficial effect on stabilization of the spine.  When performing core exercises, you should attempt to pull your navel back in toward your spine, while tightly contracting your abdominal muscles (as if you were preparing to receive a punch to the stomach).  You should be able to breathe normally while bracing without holding your breath.

Core Strengthening Exercises

You should exercise your core muscles at least once a week to keep them strong.  You can perform several exercises to strengthen your entire core.


Your thoughts?

%d bloggers like this: