When most of us think of a solid core or core strength we envision someone with a rock hard six pack. Although an individual may have visible muscles within the abdominal region, it does not necessarily mean that they possess core strength. CrossFit, in and of itself, is a core strength and conditioning program. Mid-line stabilization is essential for functional movement and part of the goal is to develop athletes from the inside out, from the core to extremity. “Much of our work focuses on the major functional axis of the human body, the extension and flexion, of the hips and extension, flexion, and rotation of the torso or trunk. The primacy of core strength and conditioning in this sense is supported by the simple observation that powerful hip extension alone is necessary and nearly sufficient for elite athletic performance.” (CrossFit Training Guide) We can see the importance of hip extension implemented throughout nearly every movement whether it be a push jerk, power clean, snatch, sumo dead-lift high pull, etc. The more power we use from our hips and mid line, the more weight we are able to get up overhead.
That being said, how do we develop our core strength? Think outside the box. Instead of doing endless sit-ups with the abmat, ask one of CrossFit Leicesters Coaches how to use the GHD machine, or work on plank progressions by doing them tabata style. Ring push ups are also an amazing way to develop mid line stabilization. The most awesome aspect in striving to develop core strength is that we can work on it within the comfort of our home by simply mastering v-ups before bed, doing plank holds for time, or getting in the weekly dose of hollow rocks while watching our favorite tv episode. We will starting a hollow rock challenge on Wednesday’s during the 7:30pm class time at CFL. We will start with 10 on April 10th, and we will be adding 10 every Wednesday of each week until we get to 100. Hollow rocks can practiced multiple times a week to master the movement, which in turn will help you build efficiency in weight-lifting as well as the gymnastic movements. Remember, lack of core development often leads to a predisposition to injury. When the core muscles are weak, we have to work twice as hard when we are engaging them. Do your part. Don’t let your weak mid line hold you back from getting a PR on one of your lifts or from doing a wod rx. Get after it! …Coach Andy