Here is the second part of the myths that surround core training.
5. “If I practice “pulling my navel to my spine” or “scooping my abs” I’ll activate the deep abdominal muscles of the core”
Most trainer give this advice to their client to activate the deep abdominal muscle called the transversus abdominis (TVA). Unfortunately, such technique only activates the mobilizing muscles like the obliques and the rectus abdominis more than the stabilizing TVA. The TVA by design cannot cause actual inward movement of the abdominal wall but rather causes a narrowing of the whole waist.
To activate or strengthen the TVA, you need to imagine contracting the pelvic floor muscles (like stopping urine flow mid-stream) or pinching the hipbones together.
4. “If I do exercises like “superman” on a Swiss ball then I’m strengthening my core”
The superman exercise involves lying on your stomach over a Swiss ball, as you lift the trunk and raise an alternate arm and leg.
Any time the LPHC is held by some surface or external support, it no longer needs to work hard stabilize – even if the surface is an exercise ball! The best core exercises are those that place the LPHC suspended in an unbalance, anti-gravity position – stabilizing in the “neutral position” (the pelvis is neither tilted forward, backward, sideways or rotated). Some good exercises to work the core muscles are quadruped (on all fours), bridging and planking exercises.
3. “I can do core training on my own because technique is not that important”
Technique is the most important thing when exercising. Doing an exercise without proper technique might result to injury. For example, if you poke your chin while doing a supine Swiss ball bridge this causes the LPHC to move out of the stabilized neutral position and into the mobilized position. A personal trainer can tell you when you are doing the exercise right. They can tell the proper technique so you can stay away from injury.
2. “You need to actively scoop you abdominals or pull your navel up and in when performing exercises like standing chest presses and free weight work”
The TVA must have been the most important of all core-stabilizing muscles as it is responsible for bracing the low back with natural corseting action. In healthy people (without low back pain) this muscle works in a reflex (non voluntary) feed forward action even prior to moving the arms or legs.
1.“Core training is for ladies and wimps”
Every time I went to the gym, I noticed that only few men will exercise their core muscles. Most men believe that core exercise is just for wimps or for the ladies. What they aren’t aware of is that even though, you have the body of Swartzenegger, it doesn’t mean that you be as strong as he is if you don’t have a strong core.