Debunking Fitness #3

More fitness myths!

Myth #3: You need to focus on your core

Truth: Core strength is probably overrated, and you risk injury by focusing too specifically on it

First off, many athletes erroneously cling to the notion that six-pack abs are a sure sign of a strong core. More to the point, it’s unclear whether core-specific training benefits athletic performance at all. In one study, a group of collegiate rowers who ­added an arduous eight-week regimen of core exercises to their regular rowing ­workouts wound up with stronger, tauter cores. But they didn’t become better rowers: their performance levels remained the same. Similarly, researchers at Indiana State University ­measured core strength among a group of Division I varsity football players and then had them complete sets of standard exercise drills like shuttle runs. The researchers found almost no correlation between a super­charged core and athletic performance.

What’s more, the crunch, that ubiquitous exercise that promises a solid midsection, is often harmful, because many gym rats are pumping them out with terrible form. When researchers simulated crunches using spines from pig cadavers, the spinal disks usually ruptured after a couple thousand reps. “Crunches are totally unnecessary,” says Thomas Nesser, a professor of physical education at Indiana State University.

Get over it: Core strength is important, but most people get what they need simply by practicing their sport. Common routines like squats, deadlifts, and kettlebell drills add plenty of core strength. And new studies show that running—long thought to provide little or no core benefit—does work your midsection. “Train for your sport and core strength will develop,” advises Nesser.

Source: http://www.outsideonline.com

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About SuzieSloth

I am a Certified Personal Trainer and Martial Arts Instructor with a passion for physical fitness and a background in public health. I love learning new things about the fitness world and about innovations in all health fields. I like to share tidbits that I find in magazines or on the internet with friends and clients. Please feel free to email me with questions or comments, or leave comments on any post on my blog. And make sure to stop by my website: http://www.formfitsfunction.net View all posts by SuzieSloth

3 responses to “Debunking Fitness #3

  • makethisworkout

    great article – it annoys me about how trainers, especially pilates teachers go on about the transverse abs when all you need to do is get yer butt off the floor if you wanna recruit them

    • SuzieSloth

      There are so many different exercises that utilize your core- the other problem is a lot of clients/students seem to not believe you when you tell them crunches are not the magic to making abs!

  • makethisworkout

    hallelujah! about time this marketing exercise of a topic got put it in its place – i always like to to ‘tease’ pilates teachers, asking if they can turn off their transverse abs at will – seems to confuse many of them

    just playing basketball or something like that is gonna use your core infinitely better than any monkey style suspension rope eh

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