Restore the Core – Step 1 Regain Mobility

By:  Chris Kelly CSCS (NSCA), CES, PES (NASM)

This information is from Chris Kelly’s eLearning continuing education course:
Restore the Core: Integrated Core Training for Real World Function.  See the full course for additional core assessments with video, and several core exercises and progressions with videos.
Part 2 of the Core Series is Core Complete Training: A Systematic Approach for Aesthetic Core Development by Chris Kelly.

 

Five Step Process for Restoring the Core
Much like a weight belt, the abdominals tighten around the spine to provide support during exercise or daily tasks such as bending over and rotating. Contracting the abs in this fashion is known as an abdominal brace.

While this reaction happens automatically with healthy adults, a lack of conscious control or a poor understanding of how to do it during exercise is often related to a host of issues such as back pain and weakness of core muscles deep inside the body.

While the outer core consists of the visible stomach muscles (rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques), the muscles of the inner core are located close to our joints (multifidus, diaphragm, pelvic floor and transversus abdominis).  Although these muscles are too weak to actually move the limbs, their function is to contract isometrically before movement occurs to stabilize the joints.

The most important thing to understand about this idea is that these muscles must fire before any movement takes place to allow stability to occur. Interestingly, a timing delay in this reaction has been found to exist in clients with chronic back pain illustrating the fact that the presence of chronic or acute pain can throw off the way the inner core fires and stabilizes the body.

By contrast, the muscles of the outer core are responsible for moving or preventing motion of the extremities and trunk after the inner core muscles have fired.  A common error made in training programs for clients who are de-conditioned or returning from injury is an over abundance of outer core training without re-establishing control of the inner core muscles. The first step in a progressive core training program is to establish the status of the muscles of the inner core as well as whether the client possesses conscious abdominal control.

This is accomplished via assessments as well as subjective observation. Once the need for this type of training has been established, the goal of the program becomes bringing these muscles back to function while teaching conscious control of the abdominals.

We use a simple five step process for restoring the core to increase function for abdominal training as well as daily life.

Step 1: Regain Mobility

One of the more important concepts in fitness and/or rehabilitation is mobility before stability. If a joint does not possess the ability to move correctly, it can only stabilize through its limited range of motion.  With this in mind, the first order of business is to get your client to stretch and use the foam roll for the following muscles:

  1. Psoas and Quadriceps
  2. Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Maximus
  3. Latissimus Dorsi
  4. Hip Abductors and Adductors

These muscles directly act upon the pelvis and are often tight and restricted.

In creating the mobility program for a client, consider the following:

  • Identify the basic purpose of myofascial release (foam rolling.)
  • Determine the number of rolls per muscle the client should perform on each area.
  • Determine the primary areas targeted for foam rolling and stretching.
  • Identify the order of foam rolling, stretching and hip mobility in the warm up process.

 

About the Author
Chris Kelly is an experienced fitness journalist, speaker, and strength coach. With over ten years in the fitness industry, Chris’s experience spans from work in rehabilitation settings to strength and conditioning for athletes.

 

 

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Copyright Fitness Learning Systems Inc. 2016

Restore the Core – Step 2 Breathe and Brace

By:  Chris Kelly CSCS (NSCA), CES, PES (NASM)

This information is from Chris Kelly’s eLearning continuing education course:  Restore the Core: Integrated Core Training for Real World Function.  See the full course for additional core assessments with video, and several core exercises and progressions with videos.
Part 2 of the Core Series is Core Complete Training: A Systematic Approach for Aesthetic Core Development by Chris Kelly.

Five Step Process for Restoring the Core
Much like a weight belt, the abdominals tighten around the spine to provide support during exercise or daily tasks such as bending over and rotating. Contracting the abs in this fashion is known as an abdominal brace. We use a simple five step process for restoring the core to increase function for abdominal training as well as daily life.

Step 2: Breathe and Brace

After foam rolling and stretching, the session continues with a simple drill to teach the client to re-establish deep breathing. This exercise can be seen as a “bang for your buck” movement because we are training the diaphragm while relieving stress and tension getting the client into the right frame of mind to exercise.

This drill can be performed by asking the client to inhale deeply through the nose while expanding the stomach, hold the breath for a slow three count and release through the mouth. At the same time, watch the position of the chest to ensure it is not rising.

While it will likely take several sessions for the client to gain an understanding of this method of breathing, practicing this drill both in your warm up and as homework will improve conscious control of this breathing pattern until it becomes unconscious habit.

Once the client has gained a working understanding of breathing, the next concept is to re-establish conscious abdominal control. This can be done by teaching them to actively “brace” or contract their abs.  A brace involves tightening the abs as if to avoid being poked in the stomach.

This drill can be practiced by placing one hand on the stomach and one hand slightly above the small of the low back.  Apply pressure by pushing into the stomach while tightening your abs to resist. You will feel your back extensor and abdominal muscles simultaneously tighten. Beginners should hold each brace for 5-10 seconds and then release several times to become familiar with this action. As this becomes easier, the length of each hold increases while the client breathes normally.

The ultimate goal of bracing is to consciously tighten the abs to stabilize the trunk against movement of the extremities. While bracing only requires around a 20% abdominal contraction for daily life activities, these demands are greatly increased during tasks which require increased stability such as resistance training or sports.  The trick is to “tune” the brace by allowing contracting as much as necessary in given situations.

With this in mind, the final bracing progression incorporates leg movement while breathing and bracing normally.

About the Author
Chris Kelly is an experienced fitness journalist, speaker, and strength coach. With over ten years in the fitness industry, Chris’s experience spans from work in rehabilitation settings to strength and conditioning for athletes.

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www.FitnessLearningSystems.com

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Weight and Performance

By: World Instructor Training Schools (W.I.T.S.)

Each sport will have its own unique requirements for body composition and body weight.
Athletes should consider the following when determining their optimal weight and body composition

Sport Played
Position Played
Size
Body Build
Relative Need for Power and Endurance
Speed, Strength, Flexibility, Agility, and Mobility
Power-to-Weight Ratio
Weight Certification Requirements
Body Appearance

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Copyright Fitness Learning Systems Inc. 2016

How Much Muscle Can Be Gained?

By: World Instructor Training Schools (W.I.T.S).

  • Male athletes can expect to gain 0.5 to 1.0 pound of lean body mass per week.
  • Female athletes can expect to gain 0.25 to 0.75 pound of lean body mass per week.
  • These numbers are rough estimates.
  • Actual results vary with genetic predisposition and level of hormones.
  • It is also important to consider the athlete’s state of training.
  • Detrained athletes will see significant gains while trained athletes may not.

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Accredited, Interactive, Online Continuing Education www.FitnessLearningsystems.com

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How to Increase Muscle Mass

FLS Enhanced Blog

By: World Instructor Training Schools (W.I.T.S.)

This information is from World Instructor Training Schools’ continuing education course: Sport and Exercise Nutrition: Special Considerations. See the full course for additional information on Sports Nutrition.
Click Here for more information on this course.

  • An increase in skeletal muscle requires a well-designed resistance training program that is supported by a properly formulated dietary program.
  • Sufficient calories are needed for muscles to grow.
    • A rough estimate is 350 – 500 kcal above baseline to support new muscle
    • Males should err on the higher end, Females on the lower end
  • Most additional calories should come from carbohydrate.
  • Some may come from protein foods, but excess high-protein foods can lead to a decrease in glycogen stores.
  • Heart-healthy foods can also be consumed.
  • Some protein is good, but it is often far less than most athletes think.
  • Athletes who consume low-protein diets can benefit from protein supplementation.
    • Whole foods, however, should remain the focus.
    • Overemphasizing protein intake can lead to inadequate carbohydrate intake and excess caloric intake.

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How to Increase Muscle Mass

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The Wasserman Learning Method……by June M Chewning BS, MA

The Wassermann Learning Method was developed by Dr. Jack Wasserman PhD. He started looking at learning styles and learning methods after he discovered later in life that he had Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). This discovery shed light on many questions about how he personally approached learning and the difficulties he encountered trying to learn in a traditional education setting. He learned how to “side-step” traditional learning formats. Through understanding his own deficits, he managed to earn several degrees including a Doctorate of Science in Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering.

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