Core training doesn’t help athletes they say

Kemme Fitness is about Functional Fitness.  I have 4 dimensions in my idea of Functional Fitness. They are that we work movements not muscles, that it is core-centered, that it is about more than just strength, and high intensity interval training, HIIT, should be a component.

See the italics above?  My program is core-centered. What do I do with some of the research such as the one done at Indiana State University, which indicates that a strong core is not really that advantageous for athletes?

Well I could argue that the study only measured certain exercises, or that the sample was too low (it was). I could try and attack the study, but you know what?  I’m not going to do that. I will concede and say that college athletes don’t need to focus on their core in their program.

“What? What about your endless preaching on Functional Fitness and your core-centeredness Pete? You are just going to lie down and concede?  So much for sticking to your ideals!”

Hang on now. I am conceding, but I’m not backing down on my ideals. If you were to read that study thoroughly, you will notice that the researchers talk about how those college athletes all already had a strong core and so they needed to focus on sport-specific movements.

Let me repeat that:  They needed to work on sport-specific movements.

Hmm, still working movements, not muscles (1 of my dimensions of Functional Fitness). As far as one of the other dimensions, the one concerning being core-centered, that is true. Unless you are already as functionally fit as those college athletes are, guess what?  Those studies do not apply to you. You are most likely outside of that study.

Here is a good test to help you.

The Core Test. Lie flat on the ground on your stomach. Put your hands up next to your head so that your thumbs are touching your temples. Move your hands out a bit to the side, keeping them in line with your temples. Lift your elbows off the ground, keeping your hands flat on the ground. Now try to push your whole body up so you are only on your toes and the palms of your hands. Push yourself all the way so your arms are locked out and you are in the top part of a Push-up. Did you raise your shoulders before your butt got off the ground, or could you tighten your core enough to raise your whole body up evenly? If your shoulders came up first, you need to improve your core strength.  Don’t worry, this is most people.

So for us who are not college athletes training all week long for hours on end in our sports program, you are not off the hook. Your Functional Fitness program still needs to be core-centered. If you happen to be in that level of fitness, then feel free to work those MOVEMENTS that will help you with your favorite sport.

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