Welcome back for part two of Core Training for Football.
What I’m doing here, is going over some of the things I learned doing some research on how training your core can improve
your performance on the football field.
Again, below are links to the articles I read as part of my research. Make sure you check them out for yourself in case you see something in them that I overlooked.
Let’s finish up.
Lesson #5 – A Strong Core Can Prevent Muscle Imbalances
Have you even heard of muscle imbalances before? If not, what you don’t know can hurt you.
Muscle imbalances occur when muscles that work together are imbalanced in posture, strength, or flexibility.
A muscle imbalance can really do some damage to you physically.
In How to Fix Muscle Imbalance, Mark Verstegen, founder of Athletes’ Performance and Core Performance estimates that a whopping 65% of all injuries (not just sports-related injuries) occur as a result of “overuse.”
This overuse happens when joints are worn out due to muscle imbalances.
Verstegen goes on to say that core strength is a big part of the equation when it comes to preventing muscle imbalance issues, in addition to with exercises that focus on hip and shoulder stability.
Lesson #6 – Strong Core = Better Posture = Better Athletic Performance
Now I knew a strong core helps your posture, but I honestly had no idea that posture had an effect on your athletic performance.
A strong core gives your muscles the strength to keep your torso properly aligned and upright. This is how your core helps your posture.
A study by the American Medical Athletic Association concluded that better posture can alleviate improper pressure on your muscles, nerves, spine, and joints; all of which can, and will, lead to subpar athletic performance.
Makes sense to me.
Lesson #7 – There are Two Cores: Inner and Outer
In Just Why is the Core So Important?, Dan Falkenberg, ACE and NASM-PES certified trainer, and co-founder/owner of Your Live Trainers, explains that there are two parts of the core: “outer” and “inner”.
The outer core consists of your abs, obliques and lower back muscles.
The inner core are the muscles that wrap around your spine.
The inner core serves as the “foundation” of your core, so it’s of the utmost importance that you make sure that you build your inner core.
As he mentions in his article, it’s impossible to have a sturdy house, for example, if it has a weak foundation.
The same rule applies to your body.
If you just focus on your abs and lower back, and neglect the inner core, you’re not building the stability and foundation you need.
In case you’re still a little unclear on what muscles make up your inner core, Dan explains what exactly the inner core is in his article:
Developing the inner core means strengthening tiny muscles surrounding the spine as well as a layer of muscle that wraps around the abdominal and low back areas. This layer of muscle is called the transverse abdominus… If this muscle isn’t kept strong, then it’ll loosen up and contribute, among other things, to the belly hanging out.
Still not convinced on the importance of working your core?
Maybe watching future hall of famer Ladainian Tomlinson work on his core will help convince you to take your core more seriously.
The exercise where he’s standing on a half-ball (BOSU Ball), on one foot, while catching and throwing a football, works your inner core, and improves stability and coordination.
(fast forward to about the 1:43 mark in the video)
Do you train your inner core, or have you neglected it up to this point like most players? Leave a comment below!
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