core

Want to improve your Internal obliques? Do you even know what they are?

If you read our last blog you would have seen the Core challenge we set for you.

Today we wanted to answer three very important questions about core training.

What is the core?  Why is it important to build and strengthen your core? How do you get the most out of your time when training core?  

1. What the core is? We think is really important to discuss what "Core" means to us. You'll probably get a different answer from each trainer you ask, however as you learn about how the body moves and functions you realise that it's designed to functionally work together in a way where we can run, jump, twist, bend etc. Therefore, we could argue the core stems from your shoulder blades, down your spine. This is why core exercises should include curls, extensions, lateral flexion, twists as well as exercises supported by your shoulders.

 

Flag, gym, exercise, candlestick, dragonfly

2. Why it's important: building strength, mobility and skills are often a major focus while core is neglected. We have trained hundreds of people in gymnastics, CrossFit and through general fitness programs, introducing consistent core training has been one the most advantageous for skill progression. Developing your core allows your body to function and work together, which is essential for complex movements requiring so much coordination and strength.

3. How to get the most out of your core sessions:

- Frequency, once a month is simply not enough. Frequency is important, as athletes with a gymnastics, diving and acrobatic background we want to share the insider secrets. First thing to know is that core work is done in some capacity every single training session.

- Understand which core muscles are you using. Many people say they don't need to do core as they squat, deadlift, run etc which uses their core. This is true, however your core is also made up of stabilisers, Intrinsic core- transverse abdominis, internal oblique, lumbar multifidus, pelvic floor and the diaphragm) the most effective way to work these are with small loads for longer periods of time.

- Variety and progressive exercises, everyone has their "go to" core exercises which are re-used over and over. Your body will respond better to different stimulus.

- Learn how to switch on your inner core muscles. Pull your belly button in to your spine, don't hold your breath, pull upwards from your pelvic floor (as though you are holding in your pee). This will all get easier with practice.

If you want to know how we train our core, check out our Core One and Two programs.

Simple Extras that can produce Extraordinary Results

More and more people are motivated to learn impressive gymnastics skills. We're going to share with you one of the easiest ways to improve your gymnastics without a huge time investment.

Believe it or not gymnasts, divers and other acrobatic athletes complete core work as part of every single session. Developing strength and stability is vital as these positions transfer directly to higher level skills.

All you need to do is add a little "extras" time to your current training sessions. We have a challenge for you, for the next couple of weeks set aside 2 sessions per week, of 10-15min. Remember to turn on your pelvic floor, pull your belly button in to brace your core, take proper belly breaths (do not hold your breath).

Complete 2-3 rounds of the following circuit

hollow, core, core program, mel wu

Hollow hold 30 seconds Lying on back, legs stretched out off floor & arms overhead covering ears, squeeze core & hold hollow position.
15sec rest

ankle taps, core, mel wu

Bent leg ankle taps 30 seconds Lying on back, draw knees up towards chest, keeping legs bent. Crunch up & touch ankles. Keep head neutral & crunch using abdominals, not with neck.
15sec rest

side plank, core,  side bridge, melissa wu

Side bridges 30 seconds each side Lying on right side, plant right forearm on floor & lift body up into side plank position, maintaining straight body line. Lower hips to floor laterally, then raise them up again. Repeat on left side.
15sec rest

superman raise, core, core program, melissa wu

Superman raise (alternate arm and leg) 30 seconds Lying on stomach, place arms straight overhead. Raise opposite arm and leg up & down repeatedly. Squeeze legs & glutes & extend through hips rather than hinging through lower back.


Rest 1-2min between rounds

 
 

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