A common misconception is that out core is just our abdominals, and that we need to perform local strength work on the core, or ‘suck in’ our abs or ‘brace’ to get them to work. By doing this, we can actually de-train the core and prevent it from working smoothly with the rest of the surrounding tissue! Our core is just one part of an interconnected system which should work together in synergy as we move.
So what’s the best way to train for a healthy life? Full body movements teach our bodies to be stronger as a system. There is often no direct 'burn’ in the muscles because you are allowing the whole system to mitigate the force and share the load. When you train your body to work in isolated segments only (crunches, biceps etc) then you are teaching it to work independent of the system. This might eventually mean this area doesn't play well with the rest of your body when you ask it to, and might result in an injury. Training the core in isolation may result in you feeling a burn, but it’s not really a total solution to make you strong, injury free and efficient.
Our Core classes work on you’re your whole body with an emphasis on feeding the core healthy movements to load it, unload it, lengthen and help it engage efficiently with the rest of your body. We stand, we crawl, we breath, rotate, laugh and perform warding patterns in our core classes.
If your core training has consisted primarily of crunches and planks, then we encourage you to try some of the following.
Prone exercises that use gravity to load your core, and open up the front of your body. This exercises help restore much needed length through the front of the body after long periods of sitting. Great examples are TRX or Swiss ball pushups or jack-knifes, ViPR or Sandbell crawling drills, unloaded movement training like animal flow, crawling or ground to stand drills.
Standing work is important given that is how we spend much of our life, and is often when we need core strength the most. Standing drills where the core is required to rotate, extend or support an asymmetrical mass away from the mid line of the body are directly transferable to daily life, and help the core work effectively with the whole body. Great examples are Torsonator swings, cable woodchops, ViPR helicopters or shifting drills, Sandbell overhead slamming drills etc.
Warding patterns to upregulate the sensitivity of your nervous system with a by-product of feeling a great core burn. Warding patterns help teach your body to be reactive to external force, and importantly train your muscles ability to know when to turn on and off for optimal efficiency.
Catching and reactive drills like Sandbell passing games, ViPR partner tilts, ball games etc help you receive load, and then unload. The teach you to be ready, agile and strong through your centre in a way that uses the whole system.
Play and Games based fitness drills help your core to relax! There is nothing like a deep belly laugh to release stuck tissue and emotions and help your core stronger.
Train smarter, not harder. Mix it u and you might be pleasantly surprised!