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Core Training

The role of core stability in athletic function.

Kibler WB, Press J, Sciascia A. Sports Med. 2006;36(3):189-98.

Abstract: The importance of function of the central core of the body for stabilization and force generation in all sports activities is being increasingly recognized. 'Core stability' is seen as being pivotal for efficient biomechanical function to maximize force generation and minimize joint loads in all types of activities ranging from running to throwing. However, there is less clarity about what exactly constitutes 'the core', either anatomically or physiologically, and physical evaluation of core function is also variable. 'Core stability' is defined as the ability to control the position and motion of the trunk over the pelvis to allow optimum production, transfer and control of force and motion to the terminal segment in integrated athletic activities. Core muscle activity is best understood as the pre-programmed integration of local, single-joint muscles and multi-joint muscles to provide stability and produce motion. This results in proximal stability for distal mobility, a proximal to distal patterning of generation of force, and the creation of interactive moments that move and protect distal joints. Evaluation of the core should be dynamic, and include evaluation of the specific functions (trunk control over the planted leg) and directions of motions (three-planar activity). Rehabilitation should include the restoring of the core itself, but also include the core as the base for extremity function.

My thoughts: This was a great paper. If anyone is interested, as with all papers I talk about in my blog, please just shoot me an email and I will be sure to get it out to you.

One of the ideas covered in this paper is injuries, more importantly upper extremity injuries, typically can be traced back to some problem with the core muscular and/or a poor transfer of force from the lower extremity to the upper extremity, causing the upper extremity to compensate by doing more work than it needs to.

This is an important concept to grasp. Often times, we become very myopic with injuries. “If it hurts in the shoulder, it must be a shoulder problem.” This article is really teaching us to look elsewhere. Not that there isn’t a problem at the shoulder, because there very well could be, but to look for WHY there is a problem at the shoulder. What is creating this problem?

These questions should be answered in your initial assessment (IE, movement screen) and help give you information about how to attack the issue and prevent it from happening in the future. As I have stated before, the number one goal of training is injury prevention. Too many of us go in with the mentality of, “if I just get stronger the problem will go away,” or “this will work itself out.” NEWS FLASH: Problems don’t take care of themselves. We need to be proactive in our approach when it comes to addressing our movement faults and the faults of our clients.

Figure out what the problem is. Why it happens. Devise a plan to fix it. And carry out my plan.
More tomorrow,