Core training & functional training
The Key to Top Athletes’ Fitness Secret
The power programme – for beginners or advanced – that strengthens the muscles, gives you a great figure and strengthens your back
Your core is your centre, and core training uses specific techniques to strengthen your body’s core, i.e. the deep-set muscles of the torso – especially those in the belly, the back and the pelvis. Those who regularly engage in core training three times a week will soon have better posture. The belly becomes visibly flatter, the waist slimmer, and the spine stronger. And since this programme works all the major muscle groups, the legs and buttocks are also tightened up in the process.
The crucial deep muscles
You can feel your deep-set stomach muscles, which run diagonally around the waistline, whenever you exhale or laugh. When you exercise them your belly becomes flatter and your lower back will become wonderfully at ease. The internal oblique abdominal muscles are what you use to bend your torso forwards and sideways or to twist around. If you strengthen these, you will end up with a slim waistline. The deep muscles of the back stabilise the entire spinal column. Each of their many short muscle fibres originate from one vertebrae, passing over two to four other vertebrae and then end there. When they are strong they protect the spine, thus preventing back pain. The pelvic floor muscles support the internal organs. Once these muscles are properly strengthened, good posture is the natural result. It makes you feel as if your body is being pulled upward by a central string, giving the sense of having grown a little taller.
Ever since core training led the German national football team to victory, more and more professional athletes have been using it to keep fit.
Most athletes only keep the muscle areas required by their particular sport in top shape. So it’s not surprising that a football player rarely needs extra strength training for the legs. However, the lower back is often weak and unstable. The aim of good balance training is primarily to improve core strength in order to achieve the best performance originating from a stable centre. An athlete with an unstable spinal column cannot kick a ball as far or as fast and is less accurate when passing the ball. That is why the core muscles are often the deciding factor that separates the amateurs from the professionals.
Amateur athletes are, however, rarely aware of how a good general physical condition is an integral prerequisite for being able to safely engage in any sport at all. In other words: Those who don’t regularly tend to their muscles and joints are risking a sports injury.