Sunday, November 25, 2007

Core Strength

Abs, Abs, Abs... Can we do more abs? This is understandably a major concern for most clients who come in for training a session. Everyone wants to have a flat tummy, and maybe even one that has those famous 6 pack of muscles that are so recognized when a person who has them takes their shirt off. Most people in the fitness world today think of core work as crunches or some type of abdominal flexion work done on a physio ball.
In Crossfit, we view core strength in a unique but very simple way. In every Crossfit workout our abs play the most vital role, and that role is midline stabilization. This is true for exercises including running, squats, push-ups, shoulder press, sit-ups, cycling, jumping, etc. All movements functional require us to keep our torso long and engaged.
What does this mean? It is impossible to optimize your core strength through the use of crunches or physioball exercises. The core is composed of muscle groups not only of the abs, but also the hip flexors, hip extensors (glutes and hams), spinal erectors, and quadriceps. Keeping this concept in mind and implementing it with your workout routine will undoubtedly allow you to increase you fitness level in as little as a couple workouts.
Through the increased core strength, we also see the benefits that will come to our extremities(Legs, arms). This is why Nicole from Crossfit HQ Can beat about anyone in a pound for pound over head squat competition. Her core strength is 2nd to none. You can also see every muscle in her stomach despite the fact she does zero crunches. Read more of midline stabilization and core to extremity from the Crossfit Journal. (Click)

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