Core Training

When evaluating athletes and clients, I often find that the cause of their pain or stagnant athletic performance stems from a dysfunctional movement pattern. Whether I'm evaluating a knee, shoulder or low back I always check core strength. The majority of the rehab programs and strength plans that I create have functional core exercises. And no, I don't mean "ab exercises." Your core includes way more than your rectus abdominal, or 6-pack muscle. Some but not all of these muscles are the transversus abdominus, internal and external obliques, psoas and iliacus, the glute muscles, erector spinae group, latissimus dorsi and most importantly your diaphragm. When activated correctly these muscles create a girdle of protection around your torso. Next time you train core try these simple exercises to work on proper activation. Every exercise starts with finding a neutral hip position and bracing your lower abdominal muscles and glutes (to imitate this feeling think of how you brace when you think you're going to be punched in the stomach). At the top position there should be a straight line from your shoulder to your knee. Keep your brace strong the whole time and reset if you lose it. You should breathe deep into your belly activating your diaphragm. These look simple but I bet many of you can't hold form for the entire exercise. Try them out in your routine! *guest appearance by baby London :)

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