What's a core workout?

Discussion in 'Health Tips for the Martial Artist' started by bookworm_cn317, May 2, 2007.

  1. bookworm_cn317

    bookworm_cn317 2nd Black Belt

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    No, seriously, what is it? I ask this because I have NO idea whatsoever! One of the black belts mentioned it to me, and I'd like to know more about it.

    Explain in terms a 9 year old could understand-- my brain's still sort of fried from studying for my exams!
     
  2. JBrainard

    JBrainard Senior Master

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    My understanding is that your "core" consists of all the muscle groups in the trunk of your body (full back, chest, abs). As for a good core workout, I'd like to know as well. Might help condition me for those kicks to the ribs, ouch!
     
  3. mrhnau

    mrhnau Senior Master

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    From what I've heard, its not as much chest/back as abs.... someone knowledgable correct me if I'm wrong!
     
  4. Shaderon

    Shaderon Master of Arts

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    Ok to fully understand a Core workout you have to understand what the core muscles are.

    The main muscles are the big ones, like the biceps, hamstrings, thigh musces... etc. The core muscles are the little ones that hold the torso in shape and hold the bones etc to the tendons etc. This includes the quads (six-pack).

    When you work the "core" you are working these supporting muscles. Normally in a weights or cardio workout the core muscles get some work, but in order to progress to a good level of balance and to aid the larger muscles to build, working the core is quite important.

    To do a core workout, you use less weight but balance as well. E.g. use a stability ball to lie on to do ab crunches (make sure the ball is as near to the lower end of your spine as you can balance with so you are centered on it), you can do shoulder presses while sitting on the ball and once advanced in that lifting one foot up at a time, or even not feet on the floor and totally balances sitting on the ball. You can sit on a parallel bar and swing a weight around your body taking care to keep your torso as still as possible. You can lift a medicine ball in the air and do a one legged squat.... there's many excersices you can do, but all of them target these supporting muscles. You can also do leg raises while standing, back extensions and holding the raised position for a count while lifting a leg off the floor, and my favourite... what we call "Superman training school" which is lying on a stability ball, lifting one opposite leg and arm in the air and bending the others level with the body but not touching the floor.

    I do core stability as part of my weights regime. I've just found a page which might help you with this.

    http://www.brianmac.demon.co.uk/corestabex.htm
     
  5. JBrainard

    JBrainard Senior Master

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    Thanks for the good info Shads!
     
  6. donna

    donna Black Belt

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    Thanks for the link Shaderon, good information there:)
     
  7. Hawke

    Hawke Master Black Belt

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    I posted this so people can get an idea of a core system workout.

    10 minute Pilate ab workout for advance practitioners.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmek7iASeCI&mode=related&search=

    The moves look easy, but if you never done Pilates you might want to go to a studio or your local YMCA first.

    The instructor in the video goes pretty fast.
     
  8. Shirt Ripper

    Shirt Ripper Black Belt

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    There is a lot of trend, fad, and overall misconception in the fitness industry and this buzz word, "core", is probably the most prevalent. Certainly trying to 'target' certain muscle groups in the midsection is an important component of training (especially if there is imbalance) but the fact of the matter is that the body is a system and, as martial artists, most will be using it as such. Train it that way too. Standing on one leg on a BOSU ball with your arms outstretched with a purple dumbell in one hand and a swiss ball in the other while blindfolded doesn't need to be the way you train your "core." In fact, it's pretty ridiculous. Stick to big supportive movements with a few quality specialty exercises and you will be good. If you enjoy pilates or yoga or whichever and find it effective go for it, but don't think for a second that in order to "train your core" you need to do all this "balance/stability" training in magazines and infommercials.

    For "training the core" I would recommend:
    Planks
    Ab Wheel (not the crappy assisted one that does the work for you)
    Weighted side bends

    What I wouldn't recommend:
    Stability ball - simply because most people do it incredibly wrong or just don't know what to do in the first place.

    What will give you the most bang for your buck:
    Squatting
    Pressing overhead
    Pulling (Deadlifting, Cleaning, etc.)
    KB's.

    You move big in your art, so move big in your training.

    Also, it might vary some from textbook to textbook but what I consider the "core" includes the hip flexors, rectus abdominus, spinal erectors, transverse abdominus, latissimus dorsi, Obliques, etc., etc.
     
  9. orjan

    orjan White Belt

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    Excellent post Shirt Ripper. I strongly agree on using the big movements. The key to these is the use of stabilizing muscles while doing the exercise without being supported (bench, etc).123
     

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