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The "core" is a common term used to refer to the middle section of the body between the lower part of the rib cage and the hips. There are 29 muscles in this area including the pelvis, spine, lower back, hips and trunk. Core muscles maintain body stability and transfer power from the legs to the upper body and vice-versa. Core strength training improves overall body functional power, balance, posture and may help reduce the risk of injury. By understanding and applying the science related to the core muscle stability and strength, you can develop more effective running mechanics and avoid lower back pain and other physical challenges.
Cross training works best when more than one aerobic activity is combined throughout the week with core strength training using weights or some other form of strength exercise. This is a form of cross training that will really complement your aerobic work.
Running success is a combination of your cardiovascular system (heart, lungs and blood) and your muscles. The energy you are producing is transferred to the ground by your muscles. This transfer moves you forward. The stronger your muscles are, the more effective your running form.
Runners do not have to spend the amount of time in the gym that participants in power/speed events often do. Moderate core strength training twice a week will have a significant effect on your aerobic activity. Your muscles will be stronger; so will your connective tissues, resulting in more stable and balanced joints. This applies regardless of gender and to adults of all ages.
As an aerobic athlete, you may not be familiar with core strength exercise, weight room equipment or procedures. The weight room in a modern fitness centre is a bright, airy place filled with safe, interesting equipment. It is also staffed by trainers who are more than happy to help you with a program designed to complement your chosen aerobic activity. Do not be intimidated by the fitness room - with a little knowledge and some practice you will soon discover the benefits of strength training. You will feel better, stand taller, experience less injuries and be able to walk longer and faster.
In this session we will review core training programs and how they need to become a critical part of your weekly program. We will start with Body Weight Strength Exercises from your online training program manual.