The Importance of Core Conditioning

core musclesCore conditioning is essential in preventing injury and maximising overall athletic performance.  Although strengthening one’s core is extremely beneficial most of us only focus on our sports specific training and as a result completely neglect core conditioning. Many sporting injuries can be prevented by strengthening the core musculature.  Not only this but core conditioning can improve efficiency of movement and athletic performance.  You will move better, feel better, look better and perform better.

But what is “core”?

The trunk of the body is considered the core and is comprised of the abdominal muscles, back muscles, pelvic floor muscles and the diaphragm. The core is the basis for all functional movements in sports, and is crucial for everything from propulsion, to maintaining positions, to throwing and jumping etc. The main purposes of a strong core is to provide dynamic stability for the transfer of force and energy through the body to allow good movement. This transfer of movement affords the athlete the ability to generate additional power with athletic activities such as a golf swing, kick, punch or jump.

How does a conditioned core help?

Core allows you to hold the body actively, rather than moving in a way that stresses tissues incorrectly.  Active posture uses muscle and connective tissue as it was designed to create intentional movement patterns in place of passive posture which has you hanging on ligaments and connective tissue causing inevitable maladaptations.

A conditioned core also allows you to distribute forces efficiently through the body during movement.  For movement efficiency if you want to be strong you have to ensure there are no weak points anywhere in the body whether you’re trying to move an object or run quickly, what happens between the feet and the object must be uniformly strong.  If there is a soft or weak point within that chain not only will you weaker but you will be prone to injury through overuse or trauma.

What does a conditioned core mean?

  1. Posture is better meaning less overuse injuries from sustained poor postures
  2. Reduces injury through a stable base for your body to move from
  3. Athletic performance improves because you more easily realise the benefits of strength training
  4. Allows more efficient movement with fewer compensations
  5. Movement becomes more enjoyable – move better, feel better , look better.

Rachael Lowe