An athlete will use his or her core in almost everything they do, no matter the sport. Our body’s core muscles are responsible for stabilizing our spine and pelvis as we exert energy through a variety of different movements. Whether you are throwing, kicking, running or jumping, you are using your core to help you do so more efficiently and effectively.
For young and developing athletes, core strength is an essential component in sports performance. Core strength enables athletes to maximize their power and performance, while also minimizing injury. This is why building core strength is a main focus of our strength and conditioning programs.
Below, we go over the importance of core strength and provide some exercises athletes can do at home that are great for improving core strength.
A strong core improves performance
Like mentioned above, core strength goes hand in hand with performance. Essentially, a strong core enables athletes to perform to the best of their abilities. Core stability enables athletes to control their body position, improve their balance, generate power and transfer force. All of this is needed in pretty much every sport. Whether it’s throwing a baseball, kicking a soccer ball, changing directions in football or going up for a block in volleyball, core stability helps athletes do everything much easier and to a fuller extent.
A strong core helps prevent injury
Our core is what helps stabilize our back, torso, shoulders and hips. When our core isn’t strong enough to keep all of these groups stable, then other muscle groups have to work harder to do so. This can lead to injury, especially in athletes, as they exert much energy in every movement they do. With a strong core, you can help reduce the risk of these injuries happening.
Good core exercises for athletes
When it comes to training your core, the process is a little different than other muscle groups. For example, to build leg strength, we usually do a number of different exercises that focus on higher weight and lower reps. When it comes to training your core, performing higher rep exercises is usually more beneficial and effective. Below, we provide some great core exercises any athlete can do at home.
Planks are a great exercise for athletes to do, as it hits pretty much every part of your core. Plus, there is no equipment needed! This is a well-known core exercise that involves holding yourself up with your forearms and toes, and ultimately trying to stay as flat (like a plank) as possible for as long as you can. It’s important to have proper form while planking so you don’t injure your back.
Mountain climbers are another great core exercise that many athletes may already know how to do. You start out in a push-up position with your black flat and core tight. Then, bring your right leg up to your chest with your foot on the ground. After that, you drive your right leg back to the starting position, while simultaneously doing the exact same thing with your left leg. Once you get the hang of it, gradually increase speed and duration.
Both of these exercises are easy to learn, can be done at home and are very effective at building core strength.
For developing athletes, core strength helps improve performance, while also reducing the risk of injury. While performing offseason training this winter, focus on building your core strength and stability.
At Warren Academy, our offseason training programs focus on developing functional strength and speed for athletes of all sports and ages. If you are interested in learning more about our offseason training programs, visit our website today to learn more!