A strong core is essential for balance and stability!
The core is the body’s center of gravity and the place where all movement begins. It is made up of several muscles, 29 in fact, that are divided into two groups: those that stabilize it and those that move it. When training the core you must train the muscles that stabilize it first before you train the muscles that move it. Training the muscles that move it before you train the stabilization muscles would be similar to building a house first without building its foundation.
In order to develop the deep stabilization muscles needed for proper muscle balance and to avoid injury it is important that you start training the core early in your training. When performing core exercises, it is also important that you engage your core, by action of contracting it, and maintaining a neutral spine, meaning no arching, rounding or twisting of the spine of any sort while performing the exercises.
You must incorporate core training into all of your training programs. There are three levels/phases of core training that follow a systematic progression, similar to the training phases in your other training programs. Incorporate the appropriate core training program into the corresponding phase of your stabilization, strength or power training program accordingly.
5 Beginner Core Stabilization Exercises to Get Started
1. Drawing in Maneuver
Stand on your knees and hands.Pull in the region below the navel towards the spine
2. Cat Cow
Stand on your knees and hands and perform anterior/posterior pelvic tilts.
Lie on your back with your legs elevated and knees bent. Without moving the knee, gently tighten your abs and slowly lower your leg and touch the floor with your heel. Return to the starting position and proceed with the other leg.
4. Mc Gill-iso-Curl up
Lie on your back with one knee bend and the foot resting on on the floor. Keep the other leg straight on the floor. Place your hands under your back. Lift your torso up off the floor and pose for 2 second. Maintain neutral spine, meaning do not round your back, this is not a crunch. You can progress this exercise by posing for 5-10 seconds.
5. Side Plank
Start by standing on your elbow, on your side with your knees and hips slightly bent. Push your hips forward and lift them off the floor and hold the position for 10 seconds. You can progress by holding the top position longer or by stacking your feet and lifting the hips off the floor. Make sure you shoulder, hip and ankle joints are all on the same line.