CORE STRENGTH…WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?
What is the one thing your body protects over all other structures? Before you answer that question, let me put it this way: You’re on your morning jog with your favorite dog, and BAM, the crack in the sidewalk reared its ugly head and tripped you. Slow motion takes over and you’re suspended 2 feet above the ground with your head on a collision course with the sidewalk. What’s your next move? It’s a “no-brainer” …literally! You put your arms out and you sacrifice your musculoskeletal system so your brain does not come into contact with the ground.
So it is with all other motions the body undertakes. The body will protect the Central Nervous System (CNS), i.e. brain and spinal cord, above all other tissues, and will even sacrifice other body components so as to protect the CNS. So what does this have to do with core strength?
Core Strength is the ability of the trunk muscles to stabilize individual spinal joints in order to protect the CNS and allow the extremities to do work safely.
Each vertebra has 4 associated joints and within the column created by the vertebrae is the spinal cord, a vital component of the CNS. As stated above, the body will sacrifice other musculoskeletal components in order to protect the CNS. This is why core strength is so important. It is vital to the athlete to be able to have functioning core strength so other joints are not sacrificed in order to protect the CNS.
During gymnastics, the core must be able to adapt in any body position instantaneously in order to protect the gymnast from both back and extremity injury. Core strength must be progressive, starting out with basic stabilization and moving to sport specific movements.
Athletes are never too young, and never too old to work on their core strength. If you are concerned with keeping your athlete safe at the gym, and creating healthy habits that will last for a lifetime, talk to me the next time you see me at the gym or contact us us by clicking here..