260916 Core Strengthening by Daniel Pare, NCCP, CSO, CSPS, CSTS, Strength and conditioning coach
Introducing Daniel Pare.
Daniel, is in my estimation, one of the best coaches I know. He has the knowledge, the skills and the desire and passion to help his trainees become healthier.
Here is a new word for you, “The Core”. Is it really a new word? Of course not! Except that our fitness industry has been using the word “Core” to describe or promote ab workouts. I really like the idea and I only have one issue with that, we are promoting sit up, leg raises, for core workouts. Is this a bad thing? No, not really, except that there is a lot of confusion regarding this. Sit-ups and leg raise are OK for ab work outs, but they are not really meant for strengthening the core.
In order to train the “Core musculature” we need to know where it is. Your core musculature is located between the knee joint and the rib cage. How many muscles do we have in there? A lot. Leg muscles, glutes, lower and mid back, and all abdominal muscles.
How are we going to strengthen all of that? I have selected a few key exercises that are going to target all the muscles mentioned earlier and strengthen them.
The squat (front or/and back), the deadlift (not stiff leg deadlift) and the standing shoulder press.
The squat is performed with a straight back and all the way down, hips to the floor. Why? The knee joint is part of the equation of having a strong core, therefore, deep squat help with stronger knees. If it is too hard at the beginning, just use a chair to sit on and work your way down.
With the deadlift make sure that your knees are bent and your back is tight and arched, shoulders back looking straight ahead. You stand up with your legs, not your back and keep the barbell close to you.
For the standing shoulder press the weight is pressed right above your head with straight arms.
When you get accustomed to working out and getting stronger you may add more exercises like lunges. Remember that free weights target primarily your core musculature.
Keep in mind that all of the exercises are performed standing up, not laying down! As for the sets and reps, we are looking at 3 to 5 sets of 5 reps at best. Why not more? We are looking at strengthening, not shaping. Yes, I know, there is nothing pretty and/or fancy about that, but guess what, it works. You want a stronger core…. so let’s do it together and let’s do it right. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Daniel Pare, NCCP, CSO, CSPS, CSTS
Strength and conditioning coach
St. Thomas Strength Athletics