Below is the latest installment of SUP Fitness Knowledge from Ramsay Mead of Paddle Core Fitness.
When someone talks about the core, they’re referring to the powerhouse of deep muscles within the abs and back, attaching to the spine or pelvis. This is the vital area that is the focal point for fitness and health and is the central part of the body located within the torso and hips. Another way to look at it is to remove the head, arms and legs and what we have left is the core. At the root of the core is the pelvic floor, this area of muscles helps stabilize the pelvis, and support the organs of the lower abdominal cavity, like the bladder and the uterus. The pelvic floor muscles, along with the deep muscles of the back and abdomen, for the group of muscles we work when we focus on developing baseline core strength. Moving up the chain of command through the foundation from the pelvic floor, we integrate to the more popularized muscles of the core. This spotlight is shared with many muscles, however the main stars of the core include:
Transverse Abdominus (TVA) – the deepest of the abdominal muscles, this lies under the obliques (muscles of your waist). It acts like a weight belt, wrapping around your spine for protection and stability.Diaphram – a large breathing muscle that works with the inner unit
External Obliques – these muscles are on the side and front of the abdomen, around your waist.
Internal Obliques – these muscles lie under the external obliques, running in the opposite direction.
Rectus Abdominus - the rectus abdominus is a long muscle that extends along the front of the abdomen. This is the ‘six-pack’ part of the abs that becomes visible with reduced body fat. Target exercise: the boat and the get up – traditional overwork with the crunch
Erector Spinae – the erector spinae is actually a collection of the three muscles along your neck to your lower back.
Multifidis – small deep muscles that help stabilize the spine
A strong core stiffens the spine, rib cage, and pelvis, so the non-core areas (head, arms, and legs) can draw from this foundation and can move with maximum output.
These muscles are where movement originates and are also the source of our functional stability. Whether you are running, lifting weights, picking up your toddler or a bag of groceries, these ‘core’ muscles help keep your body strong, stable, and balanced.
With this focus on core strength, the fitness industry has moved towards training the body as a whol, rather than focusing on separate muscle group. This means incorporating torso training throughout your workout, rather than just doing the usual standard crunches. (which have detriment effects on posture)
The core and injuries: Weakness in the core can have an overall effect on the body, even in joints as far away from the core as the wrist. This is due to the lack of the anchoring effect within the inner unit. However, most often when you can’t stabilize your core you are more than likely to sustain an injury to the lower back where the load is at its greatest.
Core training has many benefits including:
More functional workouts that translate into daily life activities
Improved performance in sprots such as SUP
Reduction in the risk of injury
Better ability to function each day
Interesting fun-ctional workouts that challenge you in a new and different ways
Improving your core strength
TRX – suspension training: a strap system that hangs from a doorway or ceiling mount that focuses on posture and core conditioning
Stability Balls – you can use exercise balls in a variety of ways to challenge balance, stability and torso strength
Exercise Battle Ropes – would you believe that using your arms to quickly move a 30 foot piece of rope would give you a better cardio workout thana $4000 pieec of equipment? Believe it : Core core core
BOSU ball – this is an excellent piece of equipment that can be used for everything frtom cardio to sports specific training
The Land Mine – Barbell anchoring system
Wobble Boards – adding a wobble board to your routine will help you balance, stability, torso strength, and coordination
Yoga/Pilates - these types of exercises inherently challenge your balance, flexibility and torso strength, particularly Pilates
Body weight and mobility movements
Foam Roller – using a foam roller in your workouts will enhance balance, body awareness, flexibilyt and torso strength
Core Stick – are uniquely powerful in giving you true, three dimensional functional fitness
Kettlebells – movements of the kettlebell force the muscles of the body to fully integrate, causing deep core muscles to work equally hard in order to stabilize. This poses a demand on the whole body because of the difference in distribution of weight as compared to the dumbbell
Power Plate - whole body vibration system that stimulates muscles in the most interesting way by contracting your muscles through vibration
ClubBells/Indian clubs - circular training system