Strong Points

Aaron Volpatti (Vancouver Canucks) works an anti rotation movement


Abdominal training is a key point in most fitness programs.  Either to gain the 6 pack, lose the inches or achieve that flat tummy, no matter what, it is usually at the top of the list.  The basic style of abdominal training you may see are floor based exercises and usually higher rep ranges.  The crunches, the oblique twist movements or rotational patterns, the tools such as the BOSU and stability balls are the general focus for fitness enthusiast.  What this article is going to touch on is the main movement patterns of this area and how changing your way of thinking will help you create a stronger and more stable center or “core.
This “Core Craze” that has taken the fitness industry by storm has also confused alot of people!  First came the “Drawing In” like you are pulling your belly button toward your spine.  Then came the instruction of more of a “bracing” pattern.  This bracing pattern is very normal for most people when loading, lifting and performing sport movements.  If you are familiar with these terms or not, it comes down to understanding what the true function of what our “Core” does and not what a traditional muscle function textbook says.
When we look at the function of this area we know it is meant to prevent and resist movement.  Spine stability is crucial for injury prevention and successful life and sport performance.  You may already be familiar with plank patterns such as Front and Side planks.  These deliver a high level challenge for stability with many progression levels and are a great addition to any program.  Think about movements in sport…throwing a soccer ball and having the ability to resist and decelerate the preload of the throw.  Are you able to resist and control that extension while throwing?  Rotational patterns while skating, sprinting or Tennis, are you able to control the rotational pattern?  Are you training in a way that mimics true function such as anti rotation or are you performing crunches until the cows come home? 
Train to resist movement!  For most, this may be confusing and bring about many questions on “what should I do?”.  That is beyond this article but I highly stress you find a way to learn!  Find out more on true core function and how to train it!  This article provides the wake up call that what you may be doing for abdominals, crunches, oblique twists etc, may be missing the mark.  Train to resist movement and you’ll be on your way to a strong and stable Core!
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