The proper way to train any muscle is to train it in the direction of its use. If you take a look at a good anatomy chart, you can usually see the direction the fibers of the muscle travel. Since muscle contracts in a straight line, they often give you clues as to which exercises may have themost effect in your training program.
The core is particularly problematic, since most trainees use exercises that train one, maybe two movements when they exercise. Think about it? When training the “core” most athletes perform endless numbers of crunches. Forgetting the muscle is segmented, and not continuous, meaning if the abdominals were for flexion only, we would have two hamstring- like muscles running along the front of our body. You might see someone also twisting in some manner with a stick on the shoulders, or a med ball in hand. Almost getting there but you’re still missing key elements that all core related training should have.
If you look at the major muscles of the front side core, they contract in 4 different directions. Pay attention to the actions the muscles produce.
In the 3 Tips for 3D Training article, we discussed looking at your body as a whole. Your goal is to work the length, width, and breadth of the muscle in a 3 dimensional manner. Having said that are we missing something when we are addressing our core? Once again let’s look behind us and concentrate on the forgotten muscles that also assist the human straight jacket to do its job.
As you can see, there are a number of key muscles that will assist the front side muscles that are rarely worked on by athletes today. Often when athletes have lower back pain, this area is not taken into account by their training plan. In order to minimize the imbalances and decrease the chances of injury, you must include exercises that incorporate all the movement elements at least once a week.
So what can we take from this? In your program you must incorporate exercises that include
• Diagonal movements, top – down, & bottom –up
Here’s a sample workout,
Mon: A) Front Planks 3 x 30 seconds
B) Stick Crunch 3 x 15
Complete exercise A & B then rest for 1:30 s
Wed: A) Side Planks 3 x 30 s (L & R side)
B) Diagonal MB Wood Chops 3 x 15
Fri: A) Landmine 3 x 10
B) Multifidus Hold 3 x 30 s
There are many other exercises one can choose, and you can vary them to alleviate boredom. But remember, if you cover the four movements above, you’ll be able to minimize the extreme rotational forces placed on your body, thus decreasing the potential for injury.
Next up hips and legs, the pillars of 3D strength!