Core Weight in sprinting

This question is for Charlie or anyone with an opinion. I wanted to know did your athletes do weighted, situps, back hypers and hipflexor exercises. I do and it seems that I was a little heavy this year. Should I do just non weighted exercises with these parts so I can be light in the core and flexible in the hips. In other words what is the balance between weighted and non weighted in these parts.

sis,we used to perform hundreds upon hundreds of situps.firstly it was very very boring and secondly performing the same movements will not have the desired effect as you get used to the main therapist checked my core stability and found it wasn’t great even with all the ab work i had done.he introduced me into palates and within a matter of weeks my core stabilty increased immensely.there was no need for weighted resistance just your bodyweight which was ver challenging.

check out pilates great exercises with fantastic results

Pilates is a great way, also a mix between bodyweight abdominal exercises and weighted exercises is a good way to maintain obth ends of the spectrum.

That’s interesting, pilates is the rage here in Argentina right now, like spinning 2 years ago, like yoga 4 years ago … like the … well you get the point, I wasn’t too convinced by the hype. Problem is that it’s very expensive (people are making a killing off it here). Are there any exercises in particular you find effective? … I have a connection and might be able to give it a try for free initially.

How did your ‘therapist’ determine that you had poor core stability?
What makes you think that Pilates is a better means of increasing one’s core stability than free weight exercises, various jumps and throws and even sprinting itself?

Look up Tranverse abdominus - Core stability has very little to do the fabled “six pack” as many think it has.

I agree pilates is challenging and offers a break from the norm. Why pass up any new opportunities before trying them out. I would be exclusive to pilates just as I’m not exclusive to cruches, sit ups or weighted sit ups. I think it is always challenging to throw your muscles something different before too much muscle memory kicks in. Try it, if it doesn’t work for you, so be it, but it has worked for others.

variety? sprinting, lifting, plyos, med ball throws, ab work, tempo etc
how much variety of ab stimulus you need?!?

I think that sure Pilates can be beneficial in terms of low intensity conditioning and as support for other high intensity elements but all factors should be weighed up before considering it.

All these things are great, yoga, pilates etc.
But what are they correcting and why?
I thing you should ask yourself - Is there something wrong with your basic training program that you need Pilates etc. as well?

Poor posture in athletes often developed as a result of poor strength training forms and poor stretching practices can frequently lead to people reccomending Pilates and other exercise forms to correct these issues.

For all the people that are reccomending pilates. When would you do the pilates? would you do it with your training, at the end of training? How big of a demand is it on your CNS?

guys pilates is not a stupid gimmic,trust will get great results with certain exercises done daily.i will try to post certain links or scan some stuff for those who are question is why do rep upon rep of boring ab work stability is real important and pilates will for sure hughly benefit anyone within 3-4weeks and i’ll back this statement up 100%.

aln pm me with your e-amil address and i’ll try to scan some stuff my main guy gave me last year

neo,how can sprinting itself improve stabilty.can’t be got to improve your stability through exercises and apply then to your sprinting.jumps cannot improve stability.there are certain tests’ which can determine strenght of the core area by touch alone

You named 6, i must need 7. I think it can be done in the off season, or even in the a.m. the strain on the cns is not much it is more stretching ab engaging than anything.

Could you send me some of this stuff to X-man? My email address is Thanks

:smiley: X-Man!
Your posts highlight the limited scope of thinking that is very typical of core stabilization evangelists.
If I recall correctly, I have written about some of the misconceptions of core stability on this site before.
One cannot extrapolate the results of so called core stability tests done with constrained uniarticular actions or under slow or static clinical conditions to the the real world of dynamic multiarticular sport (particularly high speed sports such as sprinting) and even daily life activities.
Since the core stability doctrine is so entrenched among physical therapists, chiropractors and miscellaneous ‘therapists’, it is considered by many to be anathema to question the status quo and ask for a little more proof than is currently extant. However, these therapists appear to be among the most gullible and emotively driven professionals in the world of medicine because they often create hero figures (Janda, Paul Chek et al.) and worship unproven techniques in a manner which frequently reminds one of Shamanism (worship of guru figures).
There is no evidence that Pilates, ball balancing, special transverse abdominis exercises or other similar activites enhance core stability to any greater degree than the usual variety of free weight and plyometric exercises that sprinters carry out, since stability training is situational and context specific!
One must not forget that the specific strength acquired through tempo runnning and sprinting itself leads to substantial increases in ‘core strength’ when performed with proper technique.
In my next post, I will talk about some of the fallacies surrounding the transverse abdominis muscle.

I would be interested to know how one defines core stability and how you test it? If anyone can post any links or post and answer that would be great?

neo,point taken but firstly have you tried pilates as a form of improving core strenght? secondly i’m not an evangelist trying to push this technique.all i’m trying to do is give my opinion from techniques which i myself have used and i must say again have used with great success.

“one cannot elaborate the results of so called core stabilty done with constraint unarticular actions or under slow static clinical conditions to the reql world of dynamic multiarticular activities”

neo what the heck is this statement are contradicating yourself totally! you are not familiar with the exercises i’m talking about nor are you open-minded.years ago chiropractors and the use of such techniques were deemed as bollocks until people have tried and relished the advantages of such can you say that pilates is not relevant to sprinting or any highly explosive sport.why do we do lifts with different tempo?

there is evidence of pilates improving strenght.YOU try and YOU will notice the difference try 5 exercises per day over a 3week period and you’ll notice the difference.sorry but you are not into voodoo stuff so why would you do them its not the therapists whom are gullible.

BTW you cannot improve core strenght by running has to be in place first then applied into your running.come on neo i thought youu had a bit of CS

X-Man, read my post again. I said one cannot EXTRAPOLATE the results of so called core stability with CONSTRAINED uniarticular actions or under slow OR static clinical conditions to the REAL world of dynamic multiarticular sport (particularly high speed sports such as sprinting) and even daily life activities.

You carelessly misread and then misquoted 4 of the words I used, so maybe that’s why you thought I was contradicting myself?
Now that you see the long sentence I wrote above, what exactly do you find contradictory about it?
These comments were no specifically referring to Pilates, but also testing methods for alleged core instability. This includes your statement “there are certain tests which can determine strength of the core area by touch alone”.
Could you please furnish me a single reference that demonstrates that ‘touch alone’ (I assume you mean palpation of the transversus abdominis muscle) gives any indication as to how this muscle or any others for that matter, behave in dynamic multiarticular sporting or daily life activities.
Human motion involves static and dynamic multiple link components which are extremely complex. The so called ‘core stability tests’ currently in vogue are far too simplistic. Even Paul Hodges and Gwen Jull (the first to use static ultrasound testing of the TVA on non athletes with pathalogical back pain) conced that its results cannot be extrapolated to healthy athletes who partake in activites such as Weightlifting, Powerlifting and sprinting. For example, how can it possibly be that Powerlifters who can squat in excess of 800lbs have a weak core? They don’t, yet several elite Powerlifters have been tested as having core weakness and instability under clinical conditions [you can ask elite Powerlifter Dave Tate about this].
The body knows of movements, not muscles. Consciously trying to contract the TVA is like trying to focus on contracting the quadriceps every time we take a step. Like other muscles in the body, the TVA does not work in isolation, but in concert with other muscles. All human movement involves the synergistic action of many stabilizing and mobilizing muscle groups. When one tries to consciously contract any one muscle in the body, including the TVA, it leads to paralysis by analysis. Moreover, attempts to isolate the TVA would more than likely ingrain a motor pattern that is entirely incorrect. Conscious selective isolation of a muscle retards the natural proprioceptive reflexive action of that muscle.
Nobody in the world at this point in time can accurately distinguish a functional TVA from a dysfunctional TVA, since the role of the TVA as mentioned previously, is to act in concert with other muscles and tissues. If the system as a whole does not function, then we can address that issue, but to try and perform isolation activation and re-activation is an exercise in speculation and futility. It has never been shown that inhibition of the isolated TVA plays any major role in diminishing the ability of the trunk and whole body to stabilize and produce torque in any given direction. Anyway, inhibition of action in one muscle may elicit enhanced activation in other synergistic muscles and thereby minimize any possible loss of torque production in a given joint action. Also, TVA does not span an articulation like VMO (which may be inhibited by knee trauma), so it behaves in quite a different fashion. The 2 obliques can quite adequately take over a significant part of the TVA’s role because their vector line of action when they are both activated concurrently is in the same direciton as TVA. It has NEVER been shown that the TVA does NOT automatically activate quite adequately during dynamic and complex sporting actions, especially in response to the Valsalva manoeuvre, forced breathing or forced exhalation. It’s interesting to note that most people, even most elite athletes, are unable to selectively recruit their TVA, but will co-contract it with external and internal obliques when trying to perform an abdominal hollowing manoeuvre. There is absolutely no way to selectively recruit TVA, other than incredibly lightly whilst lying supine, prone or side lying. As soon as ANY movement occurs in the body e.g. pelvic tilt, shifts etc., it is a direct result of superficial muscle involvement such as external oblique or rectus abdominis. The only way a person can very slightly isolate their TVA is by using a high resolution ultrasound or biofeedback device with the patient viewing the technique on a video monitor. Many eminent biomechanists question the isolationist approach to training the spinal stabilizers and emphasize that one should not try to isolate the TVA, but use it in the way it functions - with breathing, and synergistically with other muscles in movement.
You are quite wrong, X-Man, that it is possible to assess strength of the core by palpation alone. It is almost impossible to directly measure increased strength of the TVA by any means and it is extremely difficult to distinguish the TVA from the internal obliques by palpation alone. Even Paul Hodges admits this.

I find it amusing that you accuse me of not being open minded, when I am sure it is manifestly clear to intelligent readers of this topic that it is you who is not being open minded. So few people dare to question the current authorities, that the status quo of incomplete, inaccurate or misleading information continues for years. All you have done so far is regale provide the readers with your anecdotal evidence and parrot the opinion of your ‘therapist’. All I am trying to do is encourage a civilized and critical thinking approach to this topic. I would like to get as many people as possible involved in this healthy discussion.
X-Man and NO23, you may be unaware that stability is not the sole function of the trunk or ‘core’ muscles, nor does the trunk play any more important role than the periphery in overall stabilization. All muscles involved with full body stabilization are critical! It is impossible for an athlete subjected to the accelerated and impulsive loading of sprint training to NOT increase his core strength and stability and indeed overall body stability. All muscles that contribute to both core and peripheral stability in sprinting are strengthened in a very specific way by sprinting itself.
X-Man, you have jumped to the conclusion that I believe Pilates to be ineffective in enhancing one’s core stability, yet I neve once said that!
This topic is about core stability in general, not just Pilates and I wasn’t just addressing your post. However, I do not believe Pilates exercises (yes, I am familiar with a range of Pilates exercises and have studied it myself) produces any greater core strength than the many exercises sprinters can do in the gym. I believe that athletes must weigh up the benefits of Pilates exercises with both time and cost. I would be interested to know how many elite level sprinters include Pilates exercises in their training. Do you know Charlie?
There is no evidence that Pilates produces greater tension and proprioceptive demands and strengthens the trunk to any greater degree than many standard exercises like standing cable crunches, tricep pushdowns, standing presses, overhead squats, normal squats, bent arm pullovers, Powerlifting bench press, Olympic lifting variations, barbell rollouts … the list goes on.
X-Man, are you able to provide any references that demonstrate the contrary?
The major issue I have with Pilates is the way in which it is marketed by many instructors and gyms and the seriously misleading and erroneous claims made about Pilates such as ‘Pilates does not make you muscle bound like bodybuilding’, ‘Pilates creates long, lean muscles, unlike weight training’, ‘Pilates does not make you stiff and tight like weights’, ‘Pilates makes you far more supple and balanced than weights’, ‘Pilates offers a unique method of training, which can’t be accomplished by other training means’ etc. This last claim is often parroted by Pilates lovers, but is particularly fallacious since Joseph Pilates either borrowed or based all of his ideas on methods being widely used by European strong men, gymnasts and boxers of his time. Indeed, nothing that Pilates used was original. Obviously, if some people are going to make claims about the uniqueness and orignality of Pilates, someone in the world who knows otherwise is going to comment sooner or later about accuracy.

… and I don’t believe I said (or inferred) the above either

Sorry for all the typo’s! Omit the word regale!

I said you may be unaware. The only answer you could give to my questions to X-Man was simply “Look up transverse abdominis” I wonder if you have looked it up yourself!