Have you worked hard to strengthen your core only to find that all that work hasn’t paid off? Maybe you’re confused by the wide range of exercises that are out there and not sure which ones are right for you. Or maybe you’re still under the impression that “core strength” means simply building rock hard abs. If that’s you, you are not alone. But true core strength is achievable. Here’s how! The first step to building a strong core is defining what the “core” is. There are different ideas and opinions on this. Most healthcare and training professionals agree that core stability requires a combination of:
- Timing and Motor Control
The Old Core Model
The old model of core rehab/strengthening consisted of isolating specific muscle groups thought to be important in low back stability. Do some sit-ups, some side crunches, and some back extensions, and call it a core workout. The problem with this approach is that muscle isolation is not how your body moves. Sure, you might develop stronger muscles in the low back, abs, and obliques, but strength without proper timing and patterns of movement will not provide stability. You will build a strong structure on a weak foundation.
The New Core Model
Innovative rehab and exercise principles have shown us in recent years that there is a better way. These new approaches focus on patterns of full body movement instead of specific muscles. One such approach we use in our office is “Foundation Training”, which is a series of movements and exercises developed by Dr. Eric Goodman. These exercises train your body to move in safer, stronger, and more natural ways.
Foundation Training focuses on the “posterior chain”, which consists of upper and low back extensors as well as the hamstrings and powerful glute muscles. It also teaches you how to hinge at the hips instead of the lumbar spine. Check out this video for an introduction to this new way to exercise, click on the link below.
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If you’re currently using Foundation Training, leave a comment and let us know how it’s working for you. If you haven’t tried it yet, now is the time! You can get scheduled in our office to learn the basics and transition to more advanced movements as your new core strength develops. Ask us how!