When the topic of core/ core strength comes up, lots of confusion often follows. So what is the core and what do we mean by core strength?
We are talking about a group of muscles that makes up the torso. These muscles ﬁ t in a number of layers. Most people immediately think of just the abs. Think of the core as a force transfer centre of the body. Our core stabilises and controls force, or movement, we produce in the body. We do this to protect the body from injury, especially the spine.
The better the core strength we have, the better the core stability, which means less injury risk. Having poor core strength opens us up to a host of injuries. Remember, when we speak of the core we are talking about many muscles, not just one.
The key here is muscle.
Quite simply, muscle equals strength. It is these muscles that provide us with the support to have a strong core.
So, what is the most effective way to have, get, keep, and maintain a strong supportive core that protects us? Progressive overload.
The best way to achieve progressive overload is lifting weights. When we have core issues, problems or instabilities, it is because the muscles that are meant to support force transfer and stabilisation aren’t doing their job properly.
Think about a footy game — most of the team will be out on the ﬁeld playing, while a small amount will be sitting on the bench not playing.
When we have core issues, our core is pretty much sitting on the bench and out of the game. Sitting out of the game sees these muscles become weaker and over time decrease in musculature (size).
The quickest way to get off the bench is to build back up the musculature of our core muscles why completing functional movement patterns. Progressive overload is the key in normal movement patterns.
SO, THE BEST WAY TO BUILD MAXIMUM CORE STRENGTH OR REBUILD CORE STRENGTH IS:
• focus on rebuilding/ keeping musculature or the core high;
• focus on normal movement patterns; and
• focus on progressive overload.
THE TWO MAIN THINGS THAT PREVENT US FROM HAVING THE SUPPORTIVE CORE STRENGTH WE NEED ARE:
• focusing on abnormal movement patterns — these don’t and won’t reﬂect everyday life, although they may look cool; and
• providing no consistent overload means no changes.
The key is being proactive and not waiting until problems arise. To ensure your core is ﬁ ring and providing you with the support you need to go through life without injuries, limitations or problems, be sure you have a small amount of progressive overload training focusing on normal movement patterns as a staple in your life.
Your core and body will thank you for it.
What are your tips for a strong core? Share them with others in the comment section below!