Common Sense And Core Training

Core training, as in the developing the muscle’s that connect and translate force between your lower and upper body extremities, are assuredly the most improperly trained muscles by the general population and many fitness professionals. Dewey Nielson brings a sober eye to this topic and shed’s light on a poorly understood training issue. PK

By Dewey Nielson of Impact Performance Training in Newberg, Oregon

Tradition; it weaves several generations together. It aides in social interactions and brings people together through common beliefs. At a glance, tradition seems wonderful but from a coaching stand point I would rather ward it off like a nagging disease. Defending an exercise with a response like “because we have always done it that way” is not only ignorant but an insult to the industry. Take the sit-up/crunching debate (why is this still a debate?). We know that repetitive flexion is necessary to herniate a disc, we know that stabilization exercises produce more activation from the abdominals than crunches and sit-ups, we know that a flexed spine is a weak position for our athletes, and we know that we need to get our general population clients out of their flexed/seated position that they are in all day at work. So what we know is that we not only have a safer way to train the abdominals but we have a BETTER way to train them. With all of that, why do we still do crunches? “Because we have always done it that way”. This is just one example that common sense is not too common. Since we are on the subject, saying repetitive flexion is safe for the spine because you know people that bang out crunches and sit-ups with no back pain is like saying smoking cigarettes is safe because you know smokers without lung cancer. You can see how tradition can actually pollute your program.

So how can we find common sense in a field where so many experts say different things? The answer is the “Risk vs. Reward” scale. Every exercise, movement, stretch, EVERYTHING in your program should be weighed on this scale. If the risk outweighs the reward you should find another solution to accomplish the goal. This is a major difference between average and great trainers. Our training philosophy at Impact Performance Training keeps the risk/reward scale at the forefront of our trainer’s minds daily basis:

1. Don’t hurt the client/athlete in the gym
2. Prevent injuries in the sport or in life
3. Improve performance or improve body comp (for general pop.)

Notice that our 3rd goal is general the 1st goal of most. But you must realize that if you hurt someone in the training process you possibly lose a client, several referrals, and taint your reputation. I can hear the birds chirping…..”Dewey’s program must be lame and sissyfied”. I promise this is not the case. Although I will always error on the side of caution I also get results and it’s not uncommon to see athletes sprawled out on the turf at the end of a training session.
If the risk/reward scale is not in your gym, it would be wise to have a great insurance policy


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