Core Weight in sprinting

If I had more time then I would have looked it up for you.

neo,good solid post.

“All muscles that contribute to both core and peripheral stability in sprinting are strengthened in a very specific way by sprinting itself”

how can the movement of sprinting improve stability? it dosen’t! why do we do core exercises for in the first place?

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?

first of all you may have studied the techniques i am referring to but have you actually tried the movements yourself.i can easily say that X system won’t work because i have studied X system in detail but in actual fact the best way to study it is to actually try it.if at the end of a certain period results are bad then go with the actual hand on results.i believe that athletes should incorporate pilates into the training routine based on my personal opinion and the results i have recieved.i have seen athletes of high standards doing 1000’s of crunches which is very boring and a waste.i know for a fact that alot of hopeful medalists’ at this years games are currently doing certain pilates movements with great results.neo variety is the spice of life and i would take as many different movements i can to increase strenght in any area.BTW who is charlie francis anyway? never heard of him.

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.

i agree with these statements above but i have never heard such statements by anyone whom i am involved with.nor have i ever red any articles that state anything like so.i do weights like anyone else but i incorporate certain core movements for my trunk.

people have their own opinions which they are totally entitled to but we can argue here all night neo about what i think and what you think.all i’m saying is to try and make your own decision i’m not a pilates fan but nor a newby freak but i will enforce anythong which i pesonnally think will help athletes of any standard

In relation to the strength of the deep muscles of the lumbar region it is perfectly possible to be extremely strong in the squat (and most other exercises) and yet be very weak in this area because the glutes take the majority of the strain off the region during exercise, leading to atrophy in the lumbar region. This is a well documented phenomenon among athletes (see loads of research by Michael L. Pollock et al etc) so the same may be true of the TVAs. Hence, I would be cautious when stating that TVAs will get stronger with sprinting alone.

Of course, unlike the lumbar spine, we cannot yet accurately measure the strength of the TVAs so no body really knows for sure. This is why the area is so controversial and why there are so many unproven theories (and experts).

Again, can someone post something on what exactly core stability is and how it is “supposed” to be measured?

Some of the best abwork known to man is yard work. Raking, digging, carrying heavy equipment are all in my opinion vastly superior to 90% of the core work you can do in a gym. The primary reason being that this kind of general strength work not only transfers to the track, but it improves strength for daily activities. You guys all make it so complicated. Get something done, earn some money, AND work your core. The strongest men I know grew up doing 2-3 hours of manual labor a day.

Another aspect of doing manual labor is that it teaches you how to use your muscles in conjunction with eachother to produce the most amount of force you’re capable of. I’m scrawny, 150 6’1. I can only bench 145lbs, but because I know how to use my muscles (and I’ve got good core strenght) I can power clean 140lbs. If that’s not good enough for you, Imagine my scrawny arse on the line. I can hold off d-linemen that weigh 75+ pounds more than me, simply because I know how to use my body better than they do.

In conclusion: Situps don’t help you push-start your car.

Excellent post - Palmtag, check out some of the articles at for more information on this subject, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised

Agreed - and this is what many of the ab exercises in the gym are trying to imitate (possibly in a ‘false’ manner).
This is something I think Coach Davies programs seem to try and copy also - though I must admit I am not very familiar with his stuff

Is it necessary to do an extra specific ‘core work’ program (class such as Pilates) if a proper exercise program is designed and properly executed?

As I asked earlier - are Pilates and Yoga being used by athletes as simply methods to correct and relieve postural problems orignating in poor athletic program design and execution?

I totally agree! No muscle alone can stabilize one’s core. You need every muscle surrounding your mid-section to achieve that. All the abdominal muscles, erector spinae, deeper spinal muscles, quadratus lumborum, latissimus dorsi etc. There is no way sucking your belly button in a few minutes a day can build a strong core.

My question was, do you think doing weighted situps will make you too heavy in the back and stomach. I know you see these body builders who stomach stick out when they relax because of the weighted situps. See I do them and I think it may be wrong because when I look at ben Johnson he was 5’10’’ 170 pounds approx… I am 5’4’’ and weigh 165 and have 4 percent body fat when I was last tested this week. I was noticed when I was watching ben on tape he looked big but he In reality was only big in the shoulders, chest, and quads and hams. So his stomach and back was very tuck and to be like this you can not do lots of weighted situps.

This is just genetic differences. Bodybuilders are big because of genetic factors such as Myostatin expression, muscle belly length and type, more than because of the type of training they employ. See the following link for a very interesting article related to Flex Wheeler .

Do not worry, I personally have been doing weighted situps for years and have very small abdominals. I have also done no neck work but my neck muscles (sternocleidomastoideus to be precise) are very large. If your stomach muscles are naturally large then they will get large doing almost any type of situp, if they are not then you will probably see no real difference.

Carl Lewis and Ben Johnson both ran similar times in the 100m over a number of years but thier build is very different. Some may say Lewis’s build was only like that because he also used to long jump - in fact the only reason Lewis could jump was because his build allowed him to. If he was built more like ben he probably wouldn’t have been so good at jumping but probably better at sprinting. Genetics dictate what you are good at - do not try and fight them simply strengthen your body as much as you can and this will translate to better times (or at the very least less injuries) on the track.