Total Body Core Development

So far we have covered several methods of developing your core musculature, maximal isometric contraction, increasing time under tension, and now our next it is time to cover total body dynamic core training!

Increasing Coordination between the Core and Limbs

Once maximal static contraction has been optimized, we must increase coordination between the core and the limbs of the body. This is called inter-muscular coordination. We will do this in two ways. First, we will use the quadruped exercise as a half way point between isometric stabilization and total body dynamic stabilization. Second we will introduce total body stabilization by incorporating core stabilization training into our resistance training workouts.

 Floor Dynamic Stabilization

The quadruped exercise is similar to the plank in that it is performed on the floor. The quadruped will introduce dynamic stabilization while maintaining contraction at the core. To perform the quadruped, get on your hands and knees and draw in at the core. Raise your arm and opposite leg. Attempt to stabilize. This exercise is a progression of the plank in that it incorporates movement to the exercise. There are many progressions and digressions of this exercise to work with. Simply find the one that is suitable and work from there. The key is to stabilize during the movement.
As coordination increases during movement through the quadruped, total body dynamic stabilization will be our next goal. We rely on our core in real life during movement. Therefore, our core work must move off of the floor and into dynamic movement. This can be done by incorporating stabilization into our resistance training program.

Total Body Dynamic Stabilization

There are only five basic movement patterns the body produces. All movements are a combination of these patterns, these movement patterns are: horizontal pushing, horizontal pulling, vertical pushing, vertical pulling, two-leg knee dominant, one-leg knee dominant, straight-leg hip dominant, and bent-leg hip dominant. We want to incorporate at least one exercise from each of these movement patterns into our workout.
All exercises will incorporate an anti-rotation component. For our purposes, anti-rotation is defined as:  the ability of the body to recruit muscles in a coordinated fashion to counter and neutralize outside forces attempting to perturb and overcome the body’s natural equilibrium and balance. Exercises should be progressed from simple to complex, from stable to unstable.  As stability increases, more advanced progressions will be needed. By manipulating upper body and lower body symmetry, the stability demand of the exercise can be increased. For example, standing on one leg while pressing with the opposite arm requires an enormous anti-rotation demand.
Further progressions can be provided by incorporating special training devices used to destabilize the limbs. These include: ½ foam rolls, Airex pads, Bosu balance trainers, core boards, and balance boards, just to mention a few. These workouts are tiring both to the mind as well as the body. They require focus during every repetition performed.