The National Association of Sports Medicine defines the core as the structures that make up the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex (LPHC). Most people think of the core specifically as their abs. While the abdominal muscles are a major part of our core, the LPHC also includes the muscles located in our back, hips and pelvic area. Training the core is important for injury prevention because it improves our neuromuscular control, stability, muscle endurance, strength and power. At MuvLab we focus on three phases of training which include stabilization, strength and power.
Here are two examples of core exercises for each of the three training phases:
Core-Stabilization Training – Exercises involve little motion through the spine and pelvis. Designed to improve neuromuscular efficiency and intervertebral stability, focusing on drawing-in and then bracing during the exercises.
Example Exercises: Plank with Reach, Bridge walkouts
1-4 exercises -- 1-3 sets -- 12 and 20 reps
Slow tempo: 4/2/1
Core Strength – Involve more dynamic eccentric and concentric movements of the spine throughout full range of motion while clients perform the activation techniques learned in core-stabilization training. Specificity, speed, and neural demands are progressed at this level. Traditionally spend 4 weeks at this level of core training.
Example Exercises: Reverse crunches; Cable rotations
1-4 exercises -- 2-3 sets -- 8-12 reps
Medium tempo: 3/2/1 -- 1/1/1
Core Power – Improve rate of force production of core musculature. Prepare an individual to dynamically stabilize and generate force at more functionally applicable speeds. Rotation chest pass, medicine ball pullover throw, front MB oblique throw, soccer throw.
Example Exercises: Sit up med ball throw; Medicine ball slams
1-2 exercises -- 2-3 sets -- 8-12 reps
Fast tempo: as fast as can be controlled
Clark, Micheal, and Scott Lucett. NASM Essentials of Sports Performance Training. Chapter 6 Pages 169-182. Print.