Do This Core Training Exercise and Prevent Injuries

If the title led you to expect a specific core training exercise to prevent injuries, then I am afraid it was a bit of red herring.The fact is, all properly executed core training programs should minimize the risk of injury – period. 

When you want to apply high force with your arms or legs, for the force to be optimal, the muscles of your extremities must be anchored to an immovable (or sturdy) object. That sturdy object is your trunk. If your trunk is weak, the muscles of your arms and legs can become over loaded. By strengthening the trunk through core training, this lessens the stress on the muscular system, and manages the forces going through your body by increasing balance and control.

Here is a fantastic core training exercise that you can add to your training program which will both improve your power and minimize your risk of injury…

The Side Plank

As simple as it seems the side plank provide an exercise stimulus to pretty much all the muscle groups of the trunk. It is this that makes it a very effective exercise for the core. However, if you are just beginning to introduce core training to your exercise program, then this is probably not the exercise for you. It is very demanding.

Starting Position

  • Lie on your side with your legs extended in a straight line. You should place one arm beneath you and the other arm should be extended along your body;
  • Bend the arm that is beneath you to prop yourself up on your forearm, directly in line with your shoulders;
  • Your lower body from the hip should be resting on the floor, one leg on top of the other;
  • Your head, shoulders, hip and feet should all be directly lined up with each other.

Raising Movement

  • Push up your hips until your body is in a straight line;
  • As you raise your body, do not rotate your hips forwards or backwards;
  • You should keep your head and hips in alignment and learn to maintain this posture while being only supported by your arms at one end and your feet at the other;
  • Hold this position for a count of 10 at the top;

You can begin by holding at the top of the raise for 10 seconds and repeat this 3-6 times, then change sides. Then build up to holds of 60 seconds and repeat this 3 times on each side.

Core Training Exercise Variation

As I have mentioned before, this core training exercise is very demanding if you are new to core training. However, there are ways to introduce this exercise more gently if necessary.

  • To make the exercise easier, go through the starting positions (as above). As you raise yourself from the floor anchor your lower body at the knee joint instead of your feet.

You can also increase the difficulty of this exercise as well.

  • To make the exercise more difficult you should do the following, as you raise your hips from the floor, at the top of the rise, lift your top leg from the other about a foot apart. This will increase the hip muscle activation.

Add this core training exercise to your training program and with the others core exercises you will find on this site, you will be able to transmit more force through your arms and legs and minimize your risk of injury.

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