Basic Rules of Strength Training (Part 2)
Rule 3: Develop Core Strength.
The arms and legs are only as strong as the trunk. A poorly developed trunk is a week support for hard-working limbs. Strength training programs should first strengthen the core muscle before focusing on the arms and legs
“Core muscles act as shock absorbers during jumps, rebounds, or plyometrics exercises; stabilise the body; and represent a link, or transmitter, between the legs and arms. Weak core muscles fail in these essential roles, limiting the trainer’s ability to perform. Most of these muscles seem to be dominated by slow twitch muscle fibres because of their supporting role to the arms and legs. They contract constantly, but not necessarily dynamically, to create a solid base of support for the actions of other muscle groups of the body.
Many people complain of low back problems yet do little to correct them. The best protection against low back problems is well developed back and abdominal muscles.
The abdominal and back muscles surround the core area of the body with a tight and powerful support structure of muscle bundles running in different directions.
The rectus abdominis runs vertically and pulls the trunk forward when the legs are fixed, as in sit-ups, to maintain good posture. If the abdominal muscles are poorly developed, the hips tilt forward and lordosis, or swayback, develops at the lumbar area of the spine.
The internal and external obliques help the rectus abdominis bend the trunk forward and perform all twisting, lateral bending, and trunk-rotating motions.
The trunk acts as the transmitter and supporter of most arm and leg actions. The vertebral column also plays and essential role as a shock absorber during landing and take-off type actions.
Excessive, uneven stress on the spine or sudden movement in an unfavourable position may lead to back problems.
Sitting produces greater disc pressure than standing; the less stress occurs when the body is prone (such as during bench presses).
Rule 4: Develop the Stabilisers.
Prime movers work moreefficiently with strong stabiliser, or fixator, muscles. Stabilisers contract,primarily isometrically, to immobilise a limb so that another part of the bodycan act. A weak stabiliser inhibits the contraction capacity of the primemovers. Improperly developed stabilisers may hamper the activity of majormuscles.
Stabilisers alsocontract isometrically, immobilizing one part of the limb and allowing theother to move. Stabilisers can also monitor the state of the long bones,interactions in joints and sense potential injury resulting from impropertechnique, inappropriate strength, or spasms produced by poor stressmanagement. If one of these three conditions occurs, the stabilisers restrainthe activity of the prime movers, avoiding strain and injuries.
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