Core training is an essential element of athletic performance. This helps players start a motion in their legs and carry it through to their arms, or vice versa, with the most efficient transfer of energy. In movements such as kicking, throwing, running, jumping or swimming, an athlete’s core is involved in every action. Furthermore, core muscles are responsible for stabilizing one’s spine and pelvis. As well as generating and transferring energy from the centre of the body to your extremities.
Developing core strength and stability enables athletes to maximize their power output and perform complex athletic movements that require coordination, balance, and technical skills. Moreover, focusing on core strength can help athletes stabilize other weak areas to reduce the risk of injury.
What is your ‘core’?
Your core is a complex series of muscles that extend far beyond your abs and is incorporated in every movement of your body. Strong core muscles act as isometric or dynamic stabilizers for movement; transfers force and can initiate movement on its own. The major muscles of your core include your transverse abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, erector spinae, diaphragm, pelvic floor muscles, and the rectus abdominis (your abs). Your minor core muscles include your lats, traps, and your glutes.
Why do core training specifically?
- Improved Stability: The initial benefit of improving your core stability is increased flexibility and preventing injury. Core training for strength and flexibility is a sure-fire way to reduce your chances of sitting on the side-line. In order to excel, players need to have great mobility, flexion, range of motion, and body control.
- Balance: Balance is a function which creates and maintains movement patterns. All athletes require efficient and effective movement in order to perform at an adequate level. Improving your ability to stay balanced while playing sports will eliminate any wasted movements. This allows you to react quicker and play faster. Having a lack of core strength makes it more difficult to transfer any power through your lower and upper body.
- Improved Posture: A core strengthening programmed causes your trunk to be supported and protected, allowing for better posture. This in turn causes your movements to be more fluid and efficient.
- Injury Prevention: Improving core strength and stability can also help athletes reduce their risk of injury. Focusing on core strength can help athletes stabilize weak injury-prone areas and rehabilitate lower limb injuries. When the core is weak relative to the body, the athlete becomes accustomed to overusing other muscle groups to produce the desired force in any movement. Generally, this puts more strain on muscles to generate energy and on joints to transfer their force.
- Improves Athletic Performance: Core stability enables athletes to control their body position, generate optimum power, and transfer force along the kinetic chain. Core stability is needed in rotational movements, and is required in almost every sport. Ultimately, developing core strength and stability enables athletes to maximize their power output and enhance gameday performance.
Core training exercises:
2. Rolling Side Plank
3. Dead Bug
4. Bosu Single Leg Deadlift
5. Kneeling on Exercise Ball
6. Rotation Medicine Ball throws