What is Core Performance Training?

Matthew F.

Core performance training focuses on the balance, stability, and endurance of the middle of the body. It uses a variety of cross-training and plyometric exercise to enhance the overall fitness and strength of the body, especially the midsection. Core performance training has become a popular type of fitness practice around the world.

The muscles of the lower back are part of the body's core.
The muscles of the lower back are part of the body's core.

Core strength is the main goal of core performance training, and this is achieved with a variety of abdominal training methods. While traditional sit ups and push ups can help to enhance abdominal strength, there are a variety of other core performance training exercises that increase abdominal musculature. These include non-traditional abdominal exercises, especially ones that integrate other body parts and help stabilize the middle of the body.

Free weights and dumbbells are popular fitness tools used for core training.
Free weights and dumbbells are popular fitness tools used for core training.

In core performance training, exercises are used to work the core muscles. These include not only the abdominals, but the side oblique muscles, the hips, the lower back muscles, and the muscles around the chest. Popular fitness tools to work the core not only include free weights and dumbbells, but kettlebells, elastic ropes, and a variety of alternative weighted objects. Plyometric and full-body exercises are also very common as they incorporate different lifts to work different body parts during the same exercises, forcing the lifter to remain stable throughout, especially at the core.

Some non-traditional abdominal exercises that integrate other body parts can help stabilize the middle of the body.
Some non-traditional abdominal exercises that integrate other body parts can help stabilize the middle of the body.

One key aspect of core performance training is found by using Swiss balls, yoga balls, and exercise balls during the workout. These different accessories allow the person to maintain the flexibility, power, and endurance that is so essential for core performance training. Sitting on a Swiss ball gives the opportunity to stabilize the whole middle section of the body while doing exercises. Even if the core is not directly doing the lifting, having the stomach area stabilized while lifting with other body parts promotes core strength.

Traditional push ups can be a good starting point for core performance training.
Traditional push ups can be a good starting point for core performance training.

Core performance training often involves an extensive routine, and practitioners can themselves working out just as long as someone doing a normal lifting routine. Core training should be supplemented with cardiovascular (cardio) workouts and a good diet, as with any other weight training or exercises routine, and should be accompanied by stretching and warming up. The relatively light weights used in core performance training has helped it to become popular with women, older fitness enthusiasts, and those looking to stay in shape without lifting.

Exercising core muscles like the obliques and abdominals may help improve balance and posture.
Exercising core muscles like the obliques and abdominals may help improve balance and posture.

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