Core training is the training technique that includes exercises aimed at strengthening the muscles of the abdominal, lumbar and pelvic areas. The English term core means, in fact, the center of the body, its core. It is a very important area for the static and dynamic effectiveness of the musculoskeletal architecture of the body. In fact, this type of exercise supports not only those who practice sport in a constant way, but also those who need to correct their posture in everyday life. In practice, the core training is useful to balance the muscle groups of the central area of the body, which is essential to achieve long-term well-being.
What are the core Training Exercises Used for and how They are Carried out?
Core training exercises are designed to train muscles to make them firmer and stronger, but also to increase endurance and control. For this purpose, exercises involving isometric contractions are preferred: the muscles are stimulated thanks to positions maintained under stress and exploiting the instability of the supports.
Core training has several benefits for athletes because it helps them achieve key goals:
- It improves performance. It is very suitable for cross training and is used as an enhancement in different disciplines in order to enhance athletic preparation.
- Corrects posture. It is one of the long-term effects of this training technique, which helps the body to support itself better in everyday life.
- It improves balance. The muscles are more flexible and ready for action, two fundamental elements to prevent injuries both in sporting activity and in everyday life.
- Counteracts back pain. This type of training is particularly effective if you suffer from low back pain and is indicated to counteract the underlying causes of inflammation.
What Muscles are Involved in Core Training?
This type of training involves the lumbar muscles, those of the abdominal wall, the square of the loins and the extensors of the back. Then there are also the multi-articular muscles, such as the multifidus and the great dorsal. The buttocks are also included in this large group.
The core muscles are activated differently from other skeletal muscles because of their different function. For these muscles a type of contraction called static “isometric” is used, so that in the absence of movement there is maximum contraction. Athletes and high-level sportsmen can introduce functional exercises to the type of discipline and sport they practice, in order to recall preparatory motor sequences to improve the technical gesture in terms of effectiveness.
Among the most common exercises there are push-ups, squats, abdominals, pulls. The position should be maintained for as long as possible to strengthen the muscle group. These exercises, therefore, require a great deal of effort on the part of the athlete to be effective.
Here’s How to Test Your Core Training Level
To test your core level, assume the plank position for flexion resting on your forearms, keep your body in alignment without arching your back, contracting your abs to lock your trunk. When your hips fall and your knees fall to the ground, you’ve reached your limit. If you have held the position less than 30 seconds you have a weak core, if less than one minute you have an average core, up to two minutes a good core, beyond the two minutes a very good core.
Your performance can, however, improve with training by making regular sessions of cores in a progressive way, always combining the training with a proper lifestyle and healthy nutrition, which includes energy foods.