Definitions of Core muscles “Structures that make up the Lumbo-pelvic-hip complex.” National Academy of Sports Medicine. “The body minus the arms and legs” Wikipedia “Balanced development of deep and superficial muscles that stabilize, align and move the trunk of the body, especially the abdominals and muscles of the back.” Pilates “The core is…abdominals…,glutes and lower back muscles, called the erector spinae, psoas muscle of the hips and the multifidus of the spine.Muscles (that) stabilize the trunk, including the spine and pelvis, and core strength training targets these muscles.” Livestrong “My washboard road to paradise” – Guy in bar with shirt off.
Lateral and Anterior CoreDeep and superficial muscles
The “Core” is linked to all muscle systems Posterior and Anterior Linked systems Superficial large muscle groups (Anatomy Trains)
Core runs deeper than the washboard road to paradise. Deep muscle groups
The core is multi-directional Frontal and Transverse systems Color of Text
How do core muscles responddifferently in swimming. In land based activities, core muscles react to ground force reaction of the foot. Swimmers have an entirely different force reaction Top to bottom reaction. Hand is the driver of force and chain reaction. Force is initiated by a liquid and not a solid Force on opposite end is also anchored by liquid, not solid Thorax and its appendages – scapula, shoulders, ribs etc and their attendant muscles, ligaments and attachments take on a role similar to pelvis and trunk muscles
Opposing Chain Reactions Ground based from •Fluid based from bottom up top down. Same side foot to hip. •Same side hand to Opposite shoulder via shoulder •Same side hip via latissimus and fascia. latissimus, obliques and Single opposing fascia. motions between •Single motion upper upper and lower limb between multiple limbs lower limb motion
The Core helps manage center ofgravity. But a swimmers COG is vastly different from land COG Lungs provide flotation and fulcrum. Individual torso length, femur length and muscle density affect flotation and center of gravity. Movements of swimming change the COG more dramatically.
Swimming Core targetsSport specificity sidebar Hand to hip stabilization via lats Single and double arm work. Posterior chain – scaps to glutes. Lateral stability and strength. Exercises that lengthen, strengthen and stabilize. Exercises that establish stable and symmetrical rotation.
Swimmers stabilization work Primary stability throughout the body. Thoracic spine area (shoulders and scapula) Kyphosis of upper spine, internal rotation of shoulders. Scapular distance. Pelvis Neutral pelvis Symmetrical lateral strength. Symmetrical rotation strength.
Kyphosis at upper spineleads to anterior tilt. But its not justChest and hips aboutare connectedvia core flotationmusculatureand fascia.Tightabdominalsand hip flexorspull themcloser.
Proper Thoracic extension goes beyond arthrokineticissues and into cardiovascular efficiencyElevated or upright An extreme example Another extremeposture opens up chest of how a slouched example butcavity. The heart and posture can compress compression canaorta have ample room heart, lungs, aorta also occur in theto deliver blood and and interfere with lower organs likeoxygen to the body. The proper cardiovascular stomach, liver,lungs can expand to full activity. spleen, uteruscapacity.
Factors influencing pelvic andthoracic misalignmentTight anterior (front) muscles;some weak posterior (back)muscles Sway back more pronounced when fully extened – ab strength test
Another anterior tightness factor - The onlyskeletal point of attachment for the arms isat the sternum Weak back muscles and tight chest/abdominal muscles pull shoulders forward and internally rotate shoulders.
Why do exercises that promotes flexion at spine andtightness of the spinal flexion muscles.
Muscle weakness is contralateral What hip are you sitting on?Weaknesses willmanifest in allexercisesdepending uponhow much of thebody is supportedand how manylimbs are involved.LungesStep-upsSingle arm standingor ball supportexercises.
SPORTCore Principles: Swimming Lengthen Rotation and stability against rotation. Dynamic isometrics in the traditional core. Hand driver for whole body. Hip driver (gluteals) for lower body. Choose exercises that create stability between hand and foot. Anchor hands/elbows/arms Anchor feet or knees Create stability in trunk
Demos Lengthening vs shortening – (extension vs flexion) Which most appropriately reflects what happens in swimming. Hollowing and bracing – lengthening the pelvis. Anchoring the trunk – watch abdominals in drylands – does the stomach poke out? Do fat man to skinny man swim in practice. Wall exercises Draw-in/brace against the wall. Straighten lines and walk. Double arm wall lean. Single arm lean. Rotation stretch
SPORTCoreProgressions:Swimming Stability before mobility. Most core muscles are slow twitch Hips and upper thorax (scapula and shoulders) Plank or push up position Hip position/neutral w no anterior or posterior tilt. 5-10 second pulses for 1-3:00 minute sets. New concept in planks. Once strength/stability is established then add movement patterns to the plank or pushup position. Start with distinct rep count pattern – up in two/down in 4. Then move on to bands – single arm and single leg combos Then move to less stable equipment like TRXs and Stability Balls. Establish stability on these before adding movements When adding movement, maintain stability and deliberate rep count.
Variations on a pushup Core assessment Bird dog/quadraped Contra/ipsilateral Pushup/plank Plank first Push-up at incline Change hand positions Change leg positions. Does the athlete master symmetry and straight lines? If so move to next modality. If not – this is their core work.
Oblique and rotation stability Side plank Line up either w back close to wall Or line up feet, knees, hips, shoulders on a line. Can also assess during standing wall leans. Deviating to front or back sets up an imbalance between internal and external obliques. Plank or pushup with rotation Look for symmetry in rotation. Rotation stretch.
Plank and push-up positionexercises – stability first
Right: Cobra on floor – hold each contraction for :06. Head in neutral, engage glutes and lift upper spine to lift. Low back just follows to stabilize spine. .Left: Tricep extension from TRX strap.