The Second Essential C to Training is "CORE"
I know you've heard the term “core” over and over again, but do you really know where it is located? Do you think it's the “6 pack abs” section of your body? Do you do crunches to train your core?
I define the “Core” as the area of your body from mid-thigh, all the way up to just below your chest. Wrap that section all around your body and your core consists of: mid-quads,hamstrings, hips, glutes, all stomach muscles, lower and mid back. That's a big section, and consists of much more than the magazine cover “six pack”. The core is responsible for creating and storing energy and allowing our bodies to move on a stable foundation.
You hit with your core, not your arms. If want more bat speed. Train your core and not your biceps!
The core has been studied for years, by many, and it's recently been determined that the worst exercise we can do to strengthen it is crunches. So that makes us all guilty of improper and unsafe training. Doing crunches involves flexing the spine; not a recommended move! What can you do instead of crunches? Well, I'm glad you asked! Through study, it has also been determined that the core is best utilized when it's used to resist rotation. Baseball players everywhere must be scratching their heads over this one! Isn't rotation crucial to hitting? When you train your core to resist rotation, you are actually going to be able to generate more power. I know, more head scratching.
The perfect exercise for training the Core is the plank. Here is an example.
The plank is pretty basic in execution, but is also very challenging. You want to keep your elbows under your shoulders and set your feet in a push up position. Lift your body off the floor and try to maintain a “flat back” position. Try to hold for 15-20 seconds if you are a beginner and don't hold for more than one minute, even if you are advanced.
There are many variations of the plank (side plank, one legged plank, plank on ball) but this is the basic starting position. Master this position before trying a more advanced progression.
Oh yeah, for all you “six pack” guys out there, you can achieve the magazine cover look doing planks. Try them next time you workout and ditch the crunches!
Brandon Smith C.S.C.S