This reflexive core activation has to be trained further every time new skills are acquired. Once walking is easy, we test how long we can balance on one leg. Thenmaybe youwant to learn how to surf, changing the stability of the surface. Or maybe you’re sprinting, cutting, and avoiding defenders—trying tomaintain your position across multiple planes without getting tackled. If we can replicate these scenarios in the gym, we can train the patterns required for balance. Physique Development We can’t ignore one of themost common reasons for training the core— to get visible abs. While all body types should be celebrated, lots of people want a six-pack. Core workouts help build the “mirror muscles” such as the rectus abdominis and obliques. However, a large part of muscle definition relies on diet. In addition, everybody is different. Somemuscles naturally stick out more, while others take longer to reveal. Core training can certainly help youwork toward a six-pack, but it’s by nomeans the sole contributor. Diet, genetics, hormones, and other factors play amuch larger role. TEXT-DEPENDENT QUESTIONS 1. Name 2–3 global muscles of the core and describe how they contribute to athletic performance. 2. According to this chapter, which twomuscle groups form the top and bottomof your core cylinder? 3. What role does the core play in balance as we’re learning towalk? RESEARCHPROJECT Core training goesmuch further than looks, injury prevention, and athletic performance. In fact, it’s one of the key elements in developingmotor control as we grow into adults. Research core exercises for children (under age six) and put together a “workout plan” featuring 5–6 core exercises that are suitable for young kids.


Core Training: What it is andWhy it Helps

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