It is very important to know how to improve strength if you want to avoid injuries. It has recently become clear that there is a relationship between the body’s muscle support structure and its larger muscle groups. Most professional sports teams have accepted core training as a way to prevent injuries in their respective sports. The term “core” was invented in order to visualize this support structure and people define it in many different ways.
The body’s core starts below the neck at your trapezius and radiates out to the supporting muscles of the deltoids and ends at the gluteus. The core must be solid so that the body could adapt to the stresses of resistance training and/or athletic activity. If the support structure is not stable and if you don’t improve your overall strength, it really doesn’t matter how huge the major muscle groups are, since an injury will occur anyway. Making the core stable contributes to the strength of the whole body as the major groups have increased assistance from the support groups.
There is a great number of various methods for training the core and improving strength. Some of these include medicine balls, stabilization balls, Swiss balls, and platforms as well as bodyweight exercises. Each exercise forces the body to stabilize itself through the core in order to perform them properly.
You can do a test if you stand up, sit and lift your left or right foot so that it’s a few inches off the ground. Now try to touch the ground in front of you with the opposite hand while balancing on that one leg. This can be a little difficult if you have a weak core structure. Now to make it a little more difficult, stand up while still keeping the balance on that leg and raise hand you bent over with over your head. And to make it the most difficult bend over and touch the ground in front of you, then raise your hand overhead.
Not only are the muscles of the quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteus trying to keep you balanced, but your abdominals, shoulder and back muscles are all trying to keep the weight above your head from tipping you over or crashing down on your head. This instability forces the body to adapt to the stress by strengthening the stabilizing muscles attached to the larger muscle group that is being stressed. Here are some of the best core exercises to improve strength:
Swiss Ball Push Up
This exercise is more difficult the further you place the ball away from your hands. It is recommended to begin in a pushup position with your shins on the top of the ball. While keeping your back as flat as possible do a pushup bringing your elbows to a 90 degree and then pushing back up to the start. Make sure you keep the ball stabilized while you’re doing your pushup. First start with 3 sets of 15 repetitions, and progress to 30.
Medicine Ball Rotation
It is great for stretching and strengthening the support structure of the shoulders, as well as the hip flexors and oblique abdominals. You should start by holding a medicine ball to the waist level and rotate the ball from side to side while walking forward. Be sure you always rotate the ball to the leg you’re stepping with. Start with sets of 10 rotations each side and progress to 20 rotations. Many fitness instructors recommend this exercise to improve overall strength of your body.
It is performed by first lying on the floor on your stomach. After that you come up on your elbows while trying to keep the rest of your body straight and hold the position. As you hold the position you’ll notice your abdominals and lower back will start to fatigue. You should start out with 3 sets of 15 sec with 10 sec resting in between and continue to 45 seconds.
However, there is a variation of the standard Plank called the Side Plank. You can do these core-strength exercises before your workout as a warm up, or after you have finished training as a rest This can be great for developing your own set of exercises that will help you become a better athlete and improve strength.