One of the most overlooked parts of any training program is core stability.
People’s training programs usually look something like this:
Bench Press, Squats, Lat Pulldowns, Leg Press, Dumbbell Curls, Crunches, Sprinting, etc.
As you can see, these work what’s called the prime movers. These are all great exercises, but if the stabilizer system doesn’t have the adequate strength in direct proportion to the bigger surrounding muscles, you will most likely suffer from chronically tight muscles, which can lead to injury due to poor biomechanics.
When I say core, I think people confuse that with abs. You should understand core to be the muscles surrounding the spine and pelvis including the deep abdominal wall, the lumbar spine muscle, and even the abductors and adductors. You can have an amazing 6 pack, but if these other muscles are weak, it could cause you immense pain. It won’t happen right away, but it could catch up to you after years of not training these muscles while continuing to workout hard like it did to me.
Your core provides the foundation for every exercise and will help protect you from injury. Before an injury takes place, what usually happens is that these surrounding muscles will go into spasm. The reason why these muscles contract and spasm is to protect your spine.
While the challenging exercises like squats still activate the core, if the core isn’t in balance in terms of these other stabilizer muscles, you will still be furthering the imbalance.
Here is a core stability routine to do:
Foam Roll the tight muscles first to break up adhesions and stretch to loosen the muscles so they can fire properly
Then move onto a circuit like the following:
Bird Dog Make sure your body doesn’t twist!
Side Lying Hip Abduction Make sure to bring your leg back!
Side Lying Hip Adduction
Oblique Cable Twists Don’t go too heavy here!
Hyper-Extension on Stability Ball Tighten your glutes so you don’t hyper-extend!
Bridge on Swiss Ball
Also try to do most of your exercises only standing on one leg.