Core Training-by me

Core Training for Athletes

The core is essential in stabilizing the body in almost all movements, including sprinting and vertical jump. That means if you want to jump higher or run faster, you have to gain core stability. That doesnt mean you need to do a thousand situps a day,which is the wrong method anyway, trying to get a six pack.  So instead of situps and crunches (although crunches can serve some purpose), pick exercises that require  the core to stabilize the body, such as overhead squats or woodchoppers.

Anatomy of the Core

The rectus abdominus is found between the ribs and pubic bone. This is the muscle that forms  the "six pack".  Its purpose is to move the body between the rib cage and the hip. Most athletes make the mistake of training this muscle without focusing on other abdominal muscles.

The external obliques are found on both sides of the rectus abdominus. They contract when you twist your trunk, so are extremely important when doing 180 or 360 dunk.When you twist to the right, the left external oblique contracts; when you twist to the right, the left contracts

The internal obliques are found just inside the hip bone, and also allow the body to twist. 

These are the opposite of external obliques because when twist to the left the left internal oblique contracts and vice versa.

The transversus abdominus is the deepest muscle layer in the abdomen. Its main purposes are to keep the pressurethe of organs in the body normal (which prevents hernia) and to stabilize the abdomen.

Reccomended workouts for the core

Overhead Squats- I like these because they kill two birds with one stone. You are squatting, which works your quads and posterior chain, and the core is also forced to stabilize your body.

Lunges- This is also a multiple muscle exercise. It hits the quads hard, and if you keep a straight spine (which you should) while performing the rectus abdominus will also be used to stabilize the body.

Twists- Great for the obliques, IMO better than side bends. You can also add these to almost any exercise. After every rep you can perform a twist which wil give you more time to focus on other things. Its called training economy :wink:

Woodchoppers- Possibly the best core stabilization exercise out there. Easy to do, great for overall athletic performance.

Leg Raises- not great for vertical jump but good for isolating the lower rectus abdominus.

Pushups- another multiple muscle exercise. With as many variations you can perform, you can hit almost every muscle in your upper body along with the core.

Swiss ball hip extensions- works the hip flexors and the abs.

There you go. Probably not that good compared to everything else on here, but i thought i would share some knowledge anyway.

How bout medicine ball throws? They’re awesome!

Ya they are, I forgot them, mostly because i dont have a medicine ball :frowning:

great report. but what about reps and sets?? i mean as far as a sprinter is concerned are we looking for explosive exercises that work the core or high reps to be specific in training??

Well, since the abs are predominately fast twitch i would say to train them that way- high weight low reps.

it was my understading they were slow…as they had to stabilize the body throughout the entire day constantly contracting to keep a good position…plus with high weight it takes CNS energy away that could be better spent on other elements…

Nice article mate, well done.

I was told that they were predomiantly slow twitch by a guy who taught me on a fitness intructor course.

Can anyone confirm this?

Why do you think Charlie recommends high reps?

Since when? You’ve been reading too much Bodybuilding stuff. FT fibre is concentrated where power is needed as opposed to stability.
Don’t look for additional ways to fry your CNS. You have enough to do in that area already!

It’s not even bodybuilding stuff. Most (real) bodybuilders use alot of volume on abs. High weight, low reps do zilch for hypertrophy.

I come from a high intensity ab training.

I have started doing higher rep work and have noticed a difference in how I feel.

Do high intensity work if your sport requires it. IE Throwing

But than only a minimal amount.

So the potential for any major hypertrophy is very limited with the abs becuase they are predominantly slow twitch?

I’m just curious if anyone has done any work with bridges? Not that he performed that well at the olympics, but allen Webb utilyzes mainly bridges in his (HOUR LONG) core routine.

Yes, I do bridges as well, I think they’re great for stability. My only problem with them is that sometimes I feel them more in my arms than in my core, but maybe that just means I have weak arms lol.

I’ve done work with bridges, facing down and up. I use it for variety.

Can anyone explain to me what bridges are? I feel like an idiot here.

abs are predominantly slow twitch as they help stabilise the body all day around, so to be efficient train them as slow twitch, using high reps with no weights. maybe at some times during very specific training you would need to do some explosive med ball throws with heay ball, low reps etc but the majority of the time should be ex light medball, high reps high sets going up to 300-400 in a session. this i think is most effective

Here are a couple of sites that explain bridges…

I think the plank is supposed to target the transverse abdominus. I believe you’re supposed to breathe in and focus on bringing your belly button to your spine and upwards as you hold the plank position.

Could someone define core stability so that we all have a shared understanding?

If heavy winds hit a thick solid oak it usually breaks. The same winds may thrash a sapling but because of its suppleness it is better able to withstand the breeze.

Is the core able to be stabilised? If so is a stabilised spine more or less likely to “break”?

Just my 2c

Your thoughts are appreciated.