Although it might seem simple, the answer to the question “what is core training about?” can lead you down some very dark alleys and solid road blocks. So, I am going to spend a little time breaking down the concept for you and at the end of our discussion you will hopefully be in no doubt about what is core training.
Core training is the proper conditioning through exercise, of all the muscles - both superficial and deep - which surround the spine. You know - that area of your body from the top of your shoulder down to where the hip begins. Many athletes and coaches think of their core as being just their lower back and abdominals, they are of course only partially right.
Think of it this way, your ability to produce powerful movement from your arms and legs is dependent on the strength and stability of the whole of the trunk area of the body. Think of a rod going straight through the top of your head, along your spine and out through your pelvis. This is the type of stability the body requires if it is to produce powerful movements. And core training plays a vital role in accomplishing this.
Well, your core training should be built around three concepts:
Strength and Power
Newton’s law tell us that nothing moves until force in applied to someone or something. Sometimes this force is applied by you and sometimes the force is applied to you. When force is being applied to you, strength is required to resist it. When it is you that is applying the force to something or someone, then it is normally strength in the form of power that is required. This power is transmitted through the core. As explained earlier, your core is the anchor from which your limbs can apply force. If your anchor is weak or unstable, then the force output from the limbs will be weak too.
What is core training when it applies to flexibility? Well in many sports, for example striking sports such as Baseball and Golf or track and field event such as the Discus, a rotational action of the trunk is required as part of the successful performance. The range of that movement (the degree of rotation) will determine in part, the force of the action – force applied over a large range will provide you with a greater power output.
In addition, any lack of range of movement around the trunk will force you to adapt your technique to compensate for that tightness. The consequence of this is a less than efficient technique. In this case flexibility of the truck is required for optimum movement efficiency.
When one part of the body is not working optimally, somewhere else must take up the slack. The body always tries to find a way to complete its task. The problem is that the part of the body which is compensating for the weak link in the chain will itself be subjected to unusual stress and will eventually break. A well-structured core training program takes into consideration your starting position in terms of fitness and your sport. And aims to get you strong in the specific ways in which you need to be strong around your core.
I hope this answers the question "what is core training"?