NASM PES Chapter 6: Core Training Concepts 5

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Chapter Goals:

  • Be able to explain the importance of the musculature of the core and the relationship to enhancing performance. 
  • Differentiate between the local stability, global stability, and movement systems for the core. 
  • Give descriptions for the role of training the core in sports performance and injury prevention programs. 
  • Find the attributes of systematic core training programs for athletes at any level of training.

Introduction

Sports performance professionals have recently put more emphasis on training the core in sports conditioning programs, and this is due to the studies showing that efficient core performance will allow for optimal acceleration, deceleration, and stabilization of the whole kinetic chain during functional exercise. 

Core Training Concepts

Anatomy of the core

The core of the human movement system is defined as the structures making up the LPHC. 

An efficient core will ensure that athletes have optimal length-tension relationships of the functional agonists and antagonists, which allows the human movement system to have the right force coupling relationships in the LPHC.

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The core operates as an integrated functional unit, enabling the whole LPHC to work synergistically to produce force concentrically, decelerating force eccentrically, and stabilizing against abnormal forces that compress, cause torsion, and isometric shear forces. 

The neuromuscular efficiency of the core will be known as having core stability. This is comprised of inter-segmental stability, global stability, and global mobility. 

The high level sports performances will need functional strength, power, and neuromuscular control, and for specific muscles, we will need muscular endurance. 

All made programs will implement all of these parts to enhance the athlete’s performance in these aspects. 

Functional Anatomy of the Core

We have a breakdown of the systems that make up the core, and these should be fully understood by fitness professionals. 

The Local Stabilization System

The local core stabilizers will be the ones that are attaching right to the vertebrae themselves. 

These will be type one muscle fibers with high densities of muscle spindles. 

These muscles will give us the intervertebral and inter segmental stability we need. 

The main muscles for this system will be the transverse abdominus, the internal obliques, the lumbar multifidus, the pelvic floor muscles, and the diaphragm. 

The Global Stabilization System

This contains the muscles we refer to as global core stabilizers, which will attach from the pelvis to the spine. 

The muscles here will transfer loads between the upper and lower extremities and provide the stability needed for the pelvis and the spine to interact well. 

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The muscles here in this system will be the quadratus lumborum, psoas, major, external obliques, parts of the internal oblique, rectus abdominus, gluteus medius, and the muscles that make up the adductor complex. 

The Movement System

The movement system has muscles that will attach to the spine or the pelvis and then to the extremities. 

The main muscles here will be the likes of the hip flexors, lats, hamstrings, and quadriceps. 

These muscles provide us with dynamic stabilization and optimal neuromuscular control for the core. 

Core Stabilization Mechanisms

The two main systems of the thoracolumbar and IAP stabilization mechanisms will stabilize the core during functional moves. 

The TLF is a network of the fascia of non-contractile tissues playing a role in stability for the core. We divide this into the posterior, anterior, and middle layers. 

This system of the TLF will be engaged dynamically due to the contractile tissues we have attached to it. 

Scientific Rationale for Core Training

Compared to other muscle groups, most athletes will improperly train their core muscles and not to the level they need. 

Without the core properly trained, it is likely that athletes will develop some bad habits as far as performing these main functional moves goes. 

We have a close link between stabilizing the core and posture, balance, and proprioception in the LPHC. 

A technique to know well is the drawing in maneuver. We utilize this with the local stabilization system by recruiting these local core stabilizers and drawing the navel into the spine when exercising. It creates a strong core for movements. 

Bracing is another technique we should know. This is when the abs, lower back, and butt are all contracted simultaneously for optimal bracing for some force to come. 

Guidelines for Core Training

Comprehensive core training programs should be systematic, progressive, and functional, emphasizing the whole muscle spectrum of actions and focusing on producing force, reducing force, and stabilizing dynamically. 

The sports professional should create a program that is proprioceptively enriched in the training environment and select the exercises that will give the athlete the appropriate responses to improve. 

This all requires thoughts on the client’s needs for what they need to improve and the specific knowledge of the movements within their position in their sport. 

Core Training Program

Training the core will aim to develop the optimal levels for neuromuscular control and efficiency, stability of the many systems, and functional strength in general. 

The sequence that we will follow will likely be like the example program in this chapter. 

The 3 things we focus on, in order, will be:

  • Intervertebral stability 
  • Lumbopelvic stability
  • Movement efficiency

Make sure to go through the program and the various ideas for core strength, endurance, and power exercises are shown here. The diagrams will give you base ideas that you can also expand on and change to your will based on your clients. 

Like with the OPT model, we had three main stages; here, we will follow these stages. These are the phases of stabilization, strength, and power. The sets and reps, tempo, and the rest must match the parameters for the appropriate stage.

NASM PES Chapter 6: Core Training Concepts 6
NASM PES Chapter 6: Core Training Concepts 7
NASM PES Chapter 6: Core Training Concepts 8

Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

Tyler Read


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