Importance of Core in CrossFitSeptember 11, 2017
We mostly hear about quads, shoulders and glutes. The core is eventually associated with the six packs most people wish they had. The good news is we don’t have to have apparent abs to have a strong core and also, what a six packs reveal is generally a low body fat percentage.
With this information in mind, how can we tell if we have enough core, and most importantly, what is referenced to core when we talk about midline stabilisation?
Definition of core
The core is a ensemble of complex muscles which helps the spine stay neutral in the back squat, overhead or push position. While other people at the global gym crunch, we, CrossFitters work on our midline stabilisation. During the specific movement of the deadlift for example, we use our posterior chain from the hips to the soles of our feet while our upper body remains fairly straight (common mistake is the arched back). We do so by maintaining a stable back and, on top of may other elements, using our midline. If it’s weak, our back will bend, the same will happen in the bottom of a squat.
The stronger our core, the lower the risk of injuries. We sometimes compensate the lack of strength in our core by trying to adjust the position with nearby muscle groups such as hip flexors, pelvic floor or even psoas. The body will try to execute whichever order we instruct it to do sometimes at the detriment of our health.
Use of midline stabilisation
If we work on strengthening our obliques, and stretching the core area with some mobility exercises for example, as opposed to only doing ab mat sit-ups, we have a better chance at controlling the movements of CrossFit such as a simple hand stand hold against the wall. We might have the biggest quads and the largest shoulders but if we don’t stabilise the upper and lower body with our core, the purpose of performing CrossFit movements is undermined.
How to work on core
Here are some examples of the movements which can be used to improve midline stabilisation:
Hollow rock or hollow hold, superman extensions, leg raises, overhead extension with a light kettle bell (always focusing on using the core and not the inner thighs or hip flexors which is a common error), planks and if it gets easier weighted planks, and the least performed exercise the side plank which will work on obliques.
If we are in doubt about the number of reps or how to correctly do a movement we should rush to meet with one of the coaches, they will have the answers to this crucial matter that is midline stabilisation.
Photo Credit: CrossFit Inc