| In a previous post (Core Training 101), I outlined the importance of control of position and how it can affect the way we move. One other important aspect of core strength is the ability to create and manage pressure. Intra-abdominal pressure is what truly allows us to produce force during training and in performance. Imagine a trampoline. If the middle of the trampoline is loose, will it “slingshot” you very high? Probably not. The stiff trampoline is what propels you through the air! (Thanks Ty Tyrrell)
This intra-abdominal pressure allows for force to be transferred and for the spine to stay in a safe position. When forces are transferred from the lower half to the upper half efficiently, greater velocities and ball control are possible. Additionally, this is how “wear and tear” is taken off of the arm. If the athlete has the requisite strength and control to maintain trunk position, fluid efficient motion is the product.
Ever seen strong man competitions on television? If so, you’ll notice how much pressure they create in their midsection, often by holding their breath just prior to a lift. With our young athletes we believe in teaching how to both control pressure and manage position with our training techniques. Here are a few examples of some drills we might use for a strong trunk position. All passwords are Rapidvideo.
Stability Ball Rollout (https://vimeo.com/268065151)
This drill is a pretty challenging position as the athlete must stabilize and control trunk position as the ball moves. Bonus arm care points for shoulder flexion and serratus anterior recruitment!
½ Kneeling 1 Arm Cable Press (https://vimeo.com/262086375)
This drill is excellent for throwers because it trains the hand out in front of the torso, and requires a tremendous amount of core control to do correctly. This particular type of drill is especially challenging because the load is only on one side, which forces the midsection to contract hard and to create pressure to control the position. Even more bonus arm care points for shoulder flexion and serratus anterior recruitment!
1 KB/DB Suitcase Carry (https://vimeo.com/269938473)
We love any carry variation because these simple exercises give a wide array of training effect all the way from strength to work capacity. This particular drill challenges the athlete to stabilize the midsection, as the kettle bell wants to pull down. It is a great way for athletes to feel the abdominals contract as it is the only way to stay upright. This drill’s bonus arm care points are attributed to the fact that the rotator cuff is turned on and trained, as it has to keep the arm in the socket. Carries require full body strength, control and stability for the win!
We hope this is helpful! Have a great week, and as always feel free to comment with questions or topic requests!
All the best,
The Rapid Team
Andrew Gordon, MS, CSCS