Core training is one of the most misunderstood concepts out there. Not only does the term core lack a consistent definition, but training is often inspired by myths. On this week’s GAINcast we assembled a roundtable of some of the most experienced practitioners in the area to try to define the topic, evaluate common training means, and discuss their own approach to the complex topic.
Notes and quotes
In addition to Vern and myself, we were joined by prior guests and GAIN members Ola Eriksrud and Joe Przytula. Eriksrud is an associate professor at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences. In addition he also is the head of Research and Development for 1080 Motion and assists athletes at the Norwegian Olympic Sport Center. Przytula is the supervisor of physical education, health, and safety at Elizabeth (NJ) Public Schools and has a background as an athletic trainer.
- 8:00 – What is the core? “There is no structural correlate for the core. It is just a theoretical concept. Everything is in the core depending on what you’re doing. “
- 11:30 – The historical definition of the core. “Some people look at core from a structural perspective: what muscles are involved. If you start to look at the structures, it goes from the shoulders to the knee. For me then everything we do would be core training. All training is core training. “
- 15:15 – Evaluating transverse abdominis training.
- 17:30 – Rethinking core training as postural strength. “I abhor the term core, but sometimes it is a convenient term to use. Core is way more than abdominals, it’s postural strength. “
- 21:45 – The complexity of coordination and complex systems: “Movement doesn’t start at the core, it moves through the core. “
- 29:00 – Motor control, variability, and stability.
- 33:00 – Evaluating planking. “If you have a static planking position, it is simply a static endurance task. You don’t tell someone they have good knee stability after they do long wall sits. So why do we equate static planking with stability? “
- 39:15 – Training on the ground and progressing the plank. “Training on the ground should be limited to 10% of core training. Being off the ground better promotes upper body posture and connecting their hips to their shoulders better.”
- 43:30 – Gymnastics and crawling for core strength.
- 47:30 – Moving from a structural to functional concept of core.
- 50:00 – Examples of creating exercise to train the core in context.
- 54:00 – Hip and shoulder. “At any point in time what is the should girdle and the pelvis doing? They can be doing one of two things: They could be moving in opposition, or in the same direction? Which one is moving faster? You can target these things. “
- 55:30 – Evaluating different means of instability in training. “Adding instability in training doesn’t automatically make it better. Instability should be part of picture, not the entire picture. “
- 1:00:30 – Feeling the burn: “Many athletes complain they do not feel the burn. But do you feel the burn when you are swimming or pitching? That is one of the most difficult selling points of getting away from standard ground-based core training. “
To hear more about these topics you can listen to the full episode above. If you like what you hear on the GAINcast, don’t forget to give us a review and subscribe on iTunes.
The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:
- The GAINcast is brought to you by GAIN and HMMR Media. This month’s HMMR Media site theme is core training, so stay tuned for more resources coming soon on the topic, including last week’s HMMR Podcast. Join HMMR Plus so that you get full access to our video, article, and podcast archive here on HMMR Media.
- Come join us at the GAIN Europe Deep Dive on January 10 and 11 in Devon, England. Find out more here. And save the date: GAIN 2020 will take place from June 16 to 20.
- Both Eriksud and Przytula have previously been guests on the GAINcast. Eriksrud was on GAINcast 88 and Przytula on GAINcast 149.
- You can also reach out to them on Twitter: @OlaAthletic1080 and @jpatc.