I incorporate balance training into clients’ workouts in one of two ways.
Some clients—usually athletes, individuals who are in postrehabilitation and the elderly—understand that they need balance training. With them it’s acceptable to block out 15...
BY LEIGH CREWS
Activate and Initiate
Use a systematic approach to core training.
The core muscles support movement and help stabilize the spine. When designing a training program for the core, include exercises that activate the musculature and initiate movement in different ways, as happens during activities of daily living. This approach varies repetitive stresses and helps prevent injurie...
The popularity of core training has led to the misconception that to get results you need to use equipment. This simply isn’t true. And it’s a good thing too, because group fitness instructors don’t always have a lot of equipment to work with. In fact, there are a number of moves...
Many group fitness instructors use traditional Pilates
exercises in the core-conditioning sections of their classes. However, some of these exercises are too difficult technically and can set the average participant up for frustration. If an individual doesn’t have the strength or the biomechanics to perform the traditional roll-up, for example, then she might use incorrect muscles and injure herself. Yet the roll-up is taught in most classes.
The Great Abs DebateIf you’re up to snuff on your anatomy and physiology, you know that the rectus abdominis is a single muscle. However, you may have found yourself caught up in the debate about whether you can train the upper and lower portion in different ways.
It has been only 2 years since IDEA began tracking the popularity of core conditioning classes versus conventional abdominals classes on our annual Fitness Programs & Equipment Survey. In that short time span, the number of fitness facilities offering core conditioning jumped from 61 percent in 2001 to 72 percent in 2002 (see the October 2002 issue of IDEA Fitness Manager). With the recent proliferation of new core equipment, including items like the Reebok Core Board and the BOSU Balance Trainer, core conditioning is proving as popular as fitness-based yoga and Pilates.
Methods of strengthening the abdominal muscles have interested both the general public and the fitness industry for years. This interest stems from the desire to have a flat abdomen and from the abdominal muscles’ assumed ability to protect and support the spine. Over the years, abdominal fitness has progressed from the sit-up to the crunch to the pelvic tilt and now to the straight-legged sit-up (roll-up). Unfortunately, many programs developed to strengthen abdominal muscles have contributed to abdominal muscle imbalances and pain syndromes (Sahrmann 2002).