The Core is Key
Raise your hand if your first “core” workout consisted of laying on your back and doing as many crunches as possible! Don’t feel bad for raising your hand, because crunching our way to 6-pack abs, was how must of us were first introduced to “core” training. Given this, it’s not surprising how uncommon it is to hear the terms “abs” and “core” used interchangeably amongst athletes and fitness enthusiast.
Let’s be clear, the abs are NOT the core! Having 6-pack abs is NOT essential to optimal performance, but having a rock solid, stable core is. In short, “The abs are for show, the core is for dough!” The sad thing is this misunderstanding can have a negative impact on your performance outcomes, and even worse could lead to significant injury.
The abdominal muscles are just one of many contributors that make up the core. The core consist of the trunk, pelvis, and hips. Most activities of daily living and all sports require complex coordination between the upper and lower extremities. The core functions as the central link between the upper and lower extremities, and stability is this region is highly correlated to optimal performance and injury prevention.
Optimal core stability represents the perfect blend of strength, endurance, and neuromuscular control. To meet these needs and ensure functional carryover we want to train the core in a way that requires it to work against gravity, ground reaction forces and momentum.
Don’t let misinformed core training negatively impact your performance outcomes. We can help! For starters, if you haven’t seen it yet, click here to watch our Training the Octagon video. Sign up here if you want to stay connected and be among the first to get updates regarding our physical therapy and performance programming.