The Big Mans ‘Powerhouse’: Why Core Strength Is The Key To Performance.

Core Training and Core Exercises are catch phrases that have become very popular in today’s fitness and sports performance industry. Everyone seems to be talking about the ‘Core’ and how important it is. More times than not, most people still relate the core to the abdominals and performing ab exercises such as crunches.

But the true definition of ‘Core’ is much more than just the abdominals and building a ‘six pack’. If you as a basketball big man are not properly training your core, you could be missing the most important factor in maximizing your athletic ability and play on the court.

You can look at the core more accurately as the ‘Cross Roads’ of your body: the entire region between your shoulders and your hips. It includes all of the musculature of your scapula, mid and lower back, obliques, and abdominals. It is the link that connects your upper and lower body and allows them to work effectively as one coordinated unit. Without the stability of this region, it is difficult for a basketball player to effectively control his arms and legs.

The core controls a players center of gravity and balance. The core stabilizes a players posture and allows him to play upright and ‘big’ like they should. Many times coaches and parents can get the wrong idea when they watch a tall, young athlete on the court struggling to sprint up the floor or having difficulty holding onto the ball in traffic. They say that he needs to get stronger and develop better coordination. Well this is true, but it is even more accurate to say that if they were to improve the power in their core region, they would be better able to use the strength and coordination that they have, as well as improve both immensely.

For this reason I tell my players all the time that the core is your bodies’ powerhouse! You must train your body to work as one unit using your arms and legs together in full-body movements. Real core training means performing squats, lunges, deadlifts and overhead presses. It means incorporating more body weight training like pushups, pull-ups, planks, bridges, and plyometrics instead of sitting on the leg press, shoulder press, and leg extension machines.

These machines effectively ‘shut off’ your core because it is supported in a sitting position. To develop all of your core muscles, they must be activated to stabilize upper and lower body movements together.

Therefore, from now on when you think of developing your core muscles and improving your overall body strength and basketball performance, make sure you search out a proper functional core training program that incorporates full body movements.

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