Train the core for proximal-to-distal force generation.
There are many unique and creative ways to help participants strengthen their cores. This mini routine improves sports performance and enhances bone mineral density in the cervical spine. In sports-themed classes, instructors often teach exercises in unstable body positions. You can, of course, also teach core moves from an unstable posture (Willardson 2007). Train the core for proximal-to-distal force generation with simple equipment that most fitness facility group fitness studios already have: rubber resistance tubing and bands (Kibler, Press &Sciascia 2006).
Hip/Core Rotation: Lunge Position
This movement starts with hip rotation and then continues with resisted core rotation. The concentric phase is quick (1 second), followed by a slower eccentric phase (3 seconds).
Begin with left leg forward, right leg back; strong athletic posture.
Anchor resistance or ask partner to hold it.
Maintain strong grip, arms extended (shorten lever if needed).
Rotate quickly and powerfully from hips.
Follow with powerful core rotation.
Move arms from far L to far R, 10–15 reps.
Switch sides and repeat.
Once again, hip rotation starts the movement; however, in this move the knee extends as the arms pull the band or tubing up. The concentric phase is quick (1 second), followed by a slower eccentric phase (3 seconds).
Anchor resistance with R foot, and grip firmly with both hands.
Keep knees bent.
Start movement as R knee extends and hips rotate.
Rotate core as arms pull resistance up and across body from R knee to above L shoulder; 10–15 reps.
Bird-Dog With Resistance
This move includes strong shoulder abduction and scapular adduction, which enhance BMD and neutral loading of the spine.
Start on all fours. Extend L hip, knee straight, toe pointed.
Anchor resistance with L hand.
Hold tubing or band with strong grip in R hand (R arm horizontally abducted).
Raise L leg and R arm simultaneously.
Lower toes and hand back to ground.
Use 2 counts up, 2 counts down; 10 reps each side.
Want more from Mike Bracko?
Kibler, W., Press, J., & Sciascia, A. 2006. The role of core stability in athletic function. Sports Medicine, 36 (3), 189–98.
Willardson, J. 2007. Core stability training: Applications to sports conditioning programs. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 7 21 (3), 979–85.
My passion is working with hockey players to improve their skating performance. I do this with on-ice and off-ice training. I work with male and female players 8 yrs old to pro players. Another passion of mine is presenting at fitness shows. In particular IDEA shows - IDEA World and IDEA PT East & West. IDEA is a remarkable organization lead by two remarkable people - Peter and Kathie Davis.
I love playing ice hockey, x-c-skiing, mt biking, and being in the mountains. Also love all water sports especially surfing and body boarding. Also one of my favorite things to do is taking my dog, Bailey (Black Lab) for trail runs, swimming, and just walking.
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