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Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Core Workout

This Core Workout is stolen almost word for word from a book by Olympic sprinter Donovan Bailey (ignore the doping accusations). You will be doing this short workout at the beginning of every subsequent workout. There's some information below about why these types of exercises are important, but here's the basic idead: what seperates the great athletes from the good athletes is the ability to transfer strength and explosiveness as efficiently as possible. That's what your core does.


Core Training

Core training is the key to building a strong body. Your core is the foundation upon which physical fitness is built. What is core training? Simply put, core training is training the foundational elements of your body: abdomen, lower back, hips, upper back, thighs, hamstrings and joints. If you have a strong and stable body core, you will be able to build a powerful, fit body.

Unfortunately, many people have been brainwashed into believing that to be strong, you need to lift weights and build a big chest. Even some top professional and amateur athletes are not immune to this mindset. But building big muscles without strengthening your core is akin to building a house without laying the foundation: it might look impressive, but eventually, it's going to fall apart. That's why Olympic Athletes spend so much time focusing on core training. In fact, their coaches recommend that they do core training at every workout, as a warm-up, before they do anything else. It's good advice for you, too.

These exercises are challenging, and you may have to build up to doing them for the full number of reps described. That's normal. Make sure you keep your form perfect. It is better to do fewer reps with great form, than more reps with poor form. Do these before your workout, whether it be running, lifting or playing, as that will allow you to focus on form and precision. Make sure that you do them slowly and in a controlled manner, both on the exertion and the release.

Core Training Workout

Prone elbow stand leg lift
Face the floor. Distribute your weight evenly between your elbows and toes. Keep your torso straight and rigid, and keep your bum down so your body is in a straight line. Keeping your leg straight with your toe flexed up, raise one leg for a slow count of 10 repetitions, then raise the other.

Supine elbow stand leg lift
Face up. Distribute your weight evenly between your elbows and heels. Keep your torso straight and rigid, and keep your bum up so your body is in a straight line. Keeping your leg straight with your toe flexed up, raise one leg for a slow count of 10 repetitions, then raise the other.

Prone handstand leg lift
Face the floor. Distribute your weight evenly between your hands and toes. Keep your torso straight and rigid, and keep your bum down so your body is in a straight line. Keeping your leg straight with your toe flexed up, slowly raise one leg. Do 10 repetitions, then switch legs.

Supine handstand leg lift
Face up. Distribute your weight evenly between your hands and heels. Keep your torso straight and rigid, and keep your bum up so your body is in a straight line. Keeping your leg straight with your toe flexed up, slowly raise one leg. Do 10 repetitions, then switch legs.

Lateral elbow stand leg lift
Distribute your weight between your elbow and the side of your foot. Keep your torso straight and rigid, so your body is in a straight line. Keeping your leg straight with your toe, flex and pointing down, slowly raise one leg. Do 10 repetitions, then switch legs.

Lateral handstand leg lift
Distribute your weight between your hand and the side of your foot. Keep your torso straight and rigid, so your body is in a straight line. Keeping your leg straight with your toe, flex and pointing down, slowly raise one leg. Do 10 repetitions, then switch legs.

Crunch
Lie down on your back, with your knees bent. Lift your torso up off of the ground, make sure that your lower back is entirely off the ground, so that someone could stick their hand underneath your back. Touch the tops of your knees. 15 repetitions.

Back Hyper-Extensions
Lie on your stomach. Extend your legs straight, clasp your hands behind your back. Lift your legs and your torso off of the ground as high as you can simultaneously. Make sure you lift your upper torso and your legs entirely off of the ground with each rep. 15 reps.

Now on to your regularly scheduled workout...
-Jody-



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