core training

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Kettlebell Swings: Simple but Very Effective

The kettlebell swing exercise is one of my favorite exercises for metabolic conditioning, warming up, and even core training. It’s a relatively simple exercise to master, works most of the muscles of the body, is rhythmical in nature, and is conducive to having teams perform the exercise.   Let’s start with how to perform the exercise. This exercise begins with the kettlebell on the ground. Approach the kettlebell and straddle it. I like to have the feet about shoulder-width apart....

Suspension Training For The Upper Body

Suspension training can be a great tool for rehab, staying in shape when you are on the road, metabolic conditioning, a recovery workout, or just a way to provide some variety to your training.  With this article, we’ll provide some ideas for upper body suspension training.  Not only do these exercise target the working muscles, but they require you to recruit muscles to stabilize yourself, balance yourself, and heavily involve your core.   For these exercises, you’ll need a suspension...

The Overhead Squat And Athletes

The back squat is a fundamental exercise for an athletic strength and conditioning program.  It develops lower body strength, does so in a manner that involves exerting force against the ground, and also requires the athlete to strengthen their trunk muscles to support the weight.  A variation of the squat exercise that shows up in Olympic lifters programs, warm-up routines, and has gained popularity thanks to things like CrossFit is the overhead squat.  This is a much more technical lift...

Transversus Abdominis and Lower Back Pain: Smoking Gun?

back pain

The transversus abdominus (TrA) has been a muscle linked to lower back pain (LBP) for a great many years.  Advocates feel that LBP may cause, or may result from, an inability to recruit this muscle properly.  The result of this is a real focus on core exercises that help to teach individuals to better recruit their TrAs.  I’ve never been a real fan of core training for higher benefits, I have not found that the literature supports the injury prevention/performance...

The Core and Athletic Performance: Murky Waters

Our understanding of the role of core training is in transition currently. It’s gone from being the holy grail of training (i.e. essential to performance and injury prevention) to having its significance and effectiveness debated. Another wrinkle in this debate is provided in the February issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research by Shinkle et al. The authors of this study point out that static core tests (i.e. hold this position for a period of time) are not...