When it comes down to it, all training is core training. As we discussed on the GAINcast this week, no matter how you define it, the core is involved in all movement as a major factor in control of movement. Without a fully functioning core, efficient movement is not possible.
Because the core is involved in everything, talking about it is like talking about nothing and everything at the same time. More important that debates on core training is thinking about how you can bring this connectedness into training. Isolating muscles in a prone position doesn’t do this. The great majority of core training should be in standing and moving positions that stimulate and activate the core in patterns that reflect the demands of the game.
There are some training methods that inherently train the core better. The medicine ball is one. Medicine balls are not new, but the simple idea of training with a ball makes coordination essential to executing the exercises. It’s impossible to use medicine balls without using gravity and enhancing linkage.
Take some examples from the medicine ball video and book I put together in the 1990s:
- Medicine ball crossover pushup
- Overhead backward throw
- Diagonal chops
I might categorize one exercise as an upper body, one as a lower body, and one as a trunk exercise. But they are all core exercises. They require you to link, sync, connect, coordinate.