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Posts Tagged ‘Core’

Touch Your Core With Light Load/High Velocity Resistance Training

I just received the latest edition of the Performance Training Journal from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA.) In it they have a bunch of great articles about “Core Training.” The articles are very well written and state a lot of the same methods and beliefs that I have about “Core Training.”

In wakeboarding, it doesn’t matter what skill level you are, you are always using your “Core.” Because of this, it is vital that you maintain a strong and stable core so that you can ride harder, longer, throw that new invert, and add an extra 180 to all of your spins.

With that in mind, read the article below and let me know what you think about it. Also, be sure to leave a comment and let me know if you want to see some more articles and info about “Core Training.”

Roger Ernst II, CSCS

Touch Your Core With Light Load/High Velocity Resistance Training
Kyle Brown, CSCS

One of the hottest fitness trends in the last decade has been core stability training. Unfortunately, this trend has led many athletes, as well as personal trainers, to move away from training major muscle groups and instead design entire workout programs around core training. Yet, as new research suggests, core strength does not significantly contribute to overall strength and power and shouldn’t be the main focus of a workout program (1). Many bodybuilders do not even do isolation movements for their core as they are aware of the fact that in nearly every standing resistance training exercise, the core must stabilize. Yet, while developing a strong core is important for increasing athletic performance, reducing likelihood of injury, and reducing existing pain levels, a strong core can be developed by stabilizing while simultaneously training your major muscle groups. A unique way to torch your core is with light load/high velocity resistance training, as you are able to train with high intensity at a sprinter’s pace.

A core stability exercise can be defined as “any exercise that channels motor patterns to ensure a stable spine through repetition” (2). Therefore, for example, squats, pull-ups, and standing overhead presses are all core stability exercises as they all require the core to stabilize. If your goal is to develop core strength and power while training major muscle groups, training at a high velocity can challenge your core. These explosive movements are very fast-paced, intense, high-energy, anaerobic movements that require a lot of muscle groups to fire simultaneously. This type of training allows the athlete to rapidly accelerate and achieve maximum velocity on every repetition. Moreover, the power output in a short amount of time is astounding. For example, if an athlete is able to do 25 repetitions with 40lbs cable presses in each hand (80 pounds total) in 20 seconds, that is 2,000lbs of power output in 20 seconds.

Rather than focus on how many repetitions to perform, instead focus on completing the maximum number of repetitions within a given time frame with high intensity and proper form. I cannot stress enough the importance of maintaining proper biomechanics while training at high velocity, as it will not only prevent injury, it will also effectively engage the proper muscles and lead to a more challenging workout. Too many times athletes, as well as trainers, sacrifice proper form for speed. To increase core activation, perform these exercises in a less stable environment. Marshall and Murphy compared muscle activity in the rectus abdominis, transversus/internal oblique abdominis, external oblique abdominis, and erector spinae when push-ups were performed on a Swiss ball versus a stable floor. The results demonstrated that at the top portion of the push-up, with the hands positioned on a Swiss ball, there was significantly greater activity in the rectus abdominis (35% vs. 9% of maximal activity) and transversus/internal oblique abdominis (33% vs. 13% of maximal activity) (3).

References

1. Nesser TW, Lee WL. The relationship between core strength and performance in Division I female soccer players. JEPonline 2009; 12(2):21 – 28.

2. Verstegen, M, and Williams, P. Physioball routine. In: Core Performance. New York, NY: Rodale, Inc., 2004. pp. 73 – 88.

3. Marshall, PW, and Murphy, BA. Core stability exercises on and off a Swiss ball. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 86: 242 – 249. 2005

Rope Workouts

September 28, 2009 3 comments

One of the most popular forms of exercise right now is using ropes in workouts. Ropes can be used in order to improve strength and endurance as well as working your entire core while giving you a cardiovascular workout all at the same time.  Ropes can be a great total body workout, plus they will also dramatically help you to you improve your wakeboarding by working all areas of fitness.  Check out the video below and let me know what you think.

If you want to check out their website visit: www.ropeworkout.com.

Roger Ernst II, CSCS

Trampoline Training

September 10, 2009 1 comment

I was just going through a bunch of old emails and either deleting them or putting them into folders, in an attempt to become more organized, and came across this article.  In the article it gives a couple of different exercises that can be performed using a trampoline in order to improve your core strength and also your wakeboarding. 

 The article talks about using a smaller trampoline that is often found in many health clubs and fitness centers, but there is no reason that these exercises can’t be performed on a full size trampoline. 

If you are not already using a trampoline in order to improve your wakeboarding, you NEED to start.  Trampolines are a great, safe way, to learn new tricks that you are trying to land on the water.  By using a trampoline to perfect your new move before you head out on the water, it can save you a lot of time, and also some pain from not falling as much. 

There will be more to come on trampoline training later, but for now, read the article below and let me know if you have anymore exercises that can be performed using a trampoline.

Roger Ernst II, CSCS

 

 

Trampoline Training: Bounce Your Way to a Rock Hard Core

 

Kyle Brown, CSCS

 

When you mention the word trampoline, most people recall fond childhood memories of playing outside bouncing into the air as if they are defying gravity. Yet few people are aware of not only the health benefits of a trampoline but the tremendous core training benefits. Moreover, they do not know that many gyms and personal training studios now have mini indoor versions of trampolines called rebounders that elicit the same benefits. By bouncing on a trampoline, you are harnessing the force of gravity to strengthen every cell in your body. 

 

Your core muscles include all muscles from your abdominal, lower lumbar, and pelvic regions. They are responsible for supporting your spine and providing you balance and stability. Traditional core training involves movements like sit ups, crunches, bridges, and planks. Yet many athletes including many gymnasts have been able to develop incredibly powerful core muscles without any of these exercises. This is due to the tremendous amount of core strength required to stabilize in their sport. And the trampoline is a perfect example of a sport that requires and develops tremendous core strength.

 

When you bounce off a trampoline, you end up suspended in air and then land with twice the force of gravity, which challenges your body to grow stronger (1).  You constantly use your abdominal muscles with rebounder exercises to stabilize, maintain balance and postural control, and control the height of your jump.  Repeatedly bouncing up and down on trampolines develops proficiency for bracing the torso with intra-abdominal pressure and improves your core muscular endurance by maintaining an isometric contraction of the abdominals (1).

 

Trampoline training forces your body to use your core muscles as well as proprioceptors in order to balance.  Proprioceptors are specialized receptors that are located in the muscles, joints, tendons/ligaments, and the inner ear that provide information that enables your body to know where it is located in space and if necessary adjust posture or movement in order to maintain balance (1).  Proprioceptor training will work your core muscles as well as the rest of your musculature, joints, etc., thus improving your overall strength and balance. When you jump on a trampoline, every muscle in your body works simultaneously to adjust the body’s position to its constantly changing environment.

 

There are many exercises you can do to train your core on a rebounder. Here are a couple examples:

 

Sprint in Place

Stand in the middle of the trampoline and drive your knee up to your chest while simultaneously swinging up your opposite arm. Work at maximal output for 30 seconds to a minute.

 

Double Knee Ups

Stand in the middle of the trampoline and jump in the air as high as possible driving both knees to your chest.  Land and immediately repeat. The goal is to jump as high as possible

 

Side to Side Jumps

On either one or both legs, bounce from one side of the trampoline to the other.

 

Planks on Trampoline

Put your feet on the ground and your fists and elbows on the trampoline in plank position underneath your chest. Prop yourself up like a table or bridge using your toes and elbows. Use your gluteals and abdominals to stabilize.

 

Jump Twists

Use your core to twist your hips and keep your feet together while bouncing up and down.

 

References

1. Carter, Albert. (1998). Rebound To Better Health. National Institute of Reboundology and Health. Springville, UT.

Stability Ball Weight Roll

September 3, 2009 Leave a comment

Here is a great exercise that will work your entire core area in one exercise.

In order to perform the stability ball weight roll, the only equipment that you will need will be a stability ball.  If you want to increase the intensity of the exercise, simply add your choice of a dumbbell, medicine ball, or a weight plate.

When you perform the exercise, begin with your head, neck, and shoulders on the stability ball.  Fully extend your hips while flexing your abs.

With both hands straight up in the air, simply roll your shoulders to one side of the ball, dropping your hands towards the floor.  Rotate your hips with your abs, while keeping them flexed through out the entire movement.  Alternate sides for 8-10 reps each side, 16-20 reps total, for 3 sets.

Click on the links below in order to view video clips of the stability ball weight roll.

SB Weight Roll – Front

SB Weight Roll – Side

Roger Ernst II, CSCS