If you think doing sit-ups are training your core, you better keep reading so that you can rethink your “core” workouts. First of all, let’s define what the core is.
What is the core?
The torso and pelvis between the shoulders and hips (front and back of the body) is the core. Because of its size and capacity to become rigid, the core serves as an anchor for the arms and legs. In most athletic situations, power is generated by the hips and transmitted up through the stiff torso to the arms. Note that stiffness of the torso is the essential precursor to stability and the efficient transfer of forces from the extremities. The stiffness of the core is provided by a diagonal orientation of the muscles of the torso. This crisscross muscular design resembles a serape (a scarf-like blanket worn by natives in Mexico and South American countries). The serape’s crisscross design provides an excellent mechanism of force production between the hip and opposite shoulder. By creating a stiffened core in a spiral pattern, the proximal ends of the hip and shoulder muscles are anchored producing faster distal arm and leg motion across the body. This effect is crucial for all rapid reciprocal motion such as sprinting, throwing, kicking, changing direction, stair climbing and even single-sided carrying and lifting. This proximal stiffness enhances distal mobility and athleticism.
So if not sit-ups, how do you train the core?
Sit-ups involve flexing and extending the spine in order to achieve the sit-up position. We already know that to achieve high level performance, we need a stiff core, a neutral spine and the hips and arms moving efficiently across the body. Better exercises that will incorporate torso stiffness with mobility of the shoulder and the opposite hip are:
Quadraped Fire Hydrant Opposite Arm Lift
Straight Arm Rotation with Rip Trainer
Make sure you focus on stiffening the core during these exercises.
For more tips on designing the ultimate core workout, you can set up a fitness consultation with one of our Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialists and Sports Chiropractors by calling 310-534-1900 or emailing email@example.com. At Back to Function we believe that you can “Feel Better and Perform Better” and it starts today!