Core stability muscles
The core muscles are the superficial and deep spinal extensors muscles, abdominal muscles, pelvic floor muscles, and shoulder girdle and hip girdle muscles. The term core strength refers to the strength of these core muscles. Core muscle strength is usually operationally defined by a measurement of the strength of core muscles, either in terms of how much weight/resistance a muscle can lift, how many repetitions a muscle can perform, or how long a muscle can hold a neutral stable position.
What are the benefits of core stability training?
Quite simply, good core stability can help maximise running performance and prevent injury. Power is derived from the trunk region of the body and a properly conditioned core helps to control that power, allowing for smoother, more efficient and better co-ordinated movement in the limbs. Moreover, well-conditioned core muscles help to reduce the risk of injury resulting from bad posture. The ability to maintain good posture while running helps to protect the spine and skeletal structure from extreme ranges of movement and from the excessive or abnormal forces acting on the body.
CORE STABILITY EXERCISES
- Basic exercise for stability
a) Assume a front-support position resting on your fore-arms with your shoulders directly over your elbows.
b) Straighten your legs out behind you and lift up your hips to form a dead-straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. You should be balanced on your fore-arms and toes, with your lower abdomen and back working to keep your body straight. Hold for 1 minute.
a) On your side, balance on your right fore-arm with your shoulder above your elbow.
b) With your legs out straight to the left, lift your pelvis so that you are balanced on your fore-arm and feet. Your body should form a straight line and you should feel the oblique muscles down the side of your trunk working to maintain the position.
c) Hold for 1 minute then repeat on other side.
Static stability- Back against the wall
a)Â Â Â Stand in front of a wall (about 2 feet in front of it) and lean against it.
b)Â Â Â Slide down until your knees are at about 90-degree angles and hold, keeping the abs contracted, for 20-60 seconds.
c)Â Â Â Â Come back to start and repeat, holding the squat at different angles to work the lower body in different ways.
2.Â Â Â Basic exercise for the oblique & abdominal muscle
a) Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
b) â€œCrunchâ€ or curl your stomach to lift your shoulders just off the floor. Try not to use your hip flexor muscles to carry out this movement, or use your arms to pull up your head.
Aim to complete 3 x 30 crunches, with
30 seconds of recovery between sets.
a) Lie on your back. Raise your legs and bend them so that you form a right angle at your hips and your knees. Place your hands gently on the side of your head.
b) Lift your shoulders off the floor and twist, reaching your right elbow towards your left leg.
c) Return to the floor then repeat, twisting in the opposite direction.
Seated torso twists
a)Â Â Â Sit tall with your abs tight and your knees together in front of you.
b)Â Â Â Lean back slightly with a weight in your hands and rotate at the torso from side to side and repeat going in opposite directions.
a) Balance on the floor on your hands and knees. Your back should be flat and hips parallel to the floor.
b) Raise your right arm out in front of you and raise your left leg out behind you, keeping it straight.
c) Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
Lowering and Raising Legs
a) Lie with your back flat on the floor and your legs raised above your hips.
b) Lower your legs for 30 seconds until the heels are about 4 inches from the floor. Without allowing your heels to touch down, raise them for another 30 seconds.
a) Lie on your back with your arms by your sides. Raise your legs and bend them so that you form a right angle at your hips and knees.
b) Keeping your arms straight and lifting your hands no more than a few inches, gently tap the floor 100 times.