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Mar 17, 2012

Core Strength Training

The muscles of the trunk and torso act to stabilize the spine, pelvis and shoulder girdle. From this solid, balanced base the limbs can be moved powerfully and under control. In fact before rapid movements of the extremities can take place, the central nervous system stabilizes the spine in anticipation (1). The rate at which the core muscles stabilize the spine may have a direct effect on the power of limb.
Core strength training differs from many traditional weight training routines by working both the lower back and abdominals in unison. The same is true for the upper and lower body. All athletic movements incorporate the core in some way. Instead the whole body works as a unit and core strength training endeavours to replicate this.

What are the benefits of core strength training to the athlete?

1 Greater efficiency of movement
2 Improved body control and balance
3 Increased power output from both the core musculature and peripheral muscles
4 Reduced risk of injury
5 Improved balance and stability
6 Improved athletic performance!

Core Strength Training For Reducing Back Problems & Injuries

Weak or poorly controlled core muscles have been associated with low back pain . The back muscles are responsible for movements such as extension and flexion of the spine and rotation of the trunk.

Excessive or uneven shock on the spine may lead to back problems. This may be exaggerated because weak core muscles lead to improper positioning or a forward tilt. In many exercises that use the back muscles, the abdominal muscles contract isometrically stabilizing the body.

The stronger and more correctly balanced the core muscles are, the less the uneven strain on the spine.
Core Strength Training To Get a Six Pack

If you've visited the abdominal training section of the site, you'll already appreciate that getting those wash board abs requires a different approach than simply crunching out lots of sit ups. Also remember that core strength training is NOT about focusing purely on your abs.

If you want a six pack, then yes, core strength exercises should predominate in your routine. Not because they blast your ab muscles, they don't. But they will help you to reduce your body fat stores and increase the muscularity of your rectus abdominus and they will give you the most returns for your efforts.

You will still need to focus on your diet and it won't do any harm adding a few ab-specific exercises like crunches and leg raises within your sessions.