wouldnt leg raises be considered a reaonable objective measure of core strength?
Gary 'Smiler' Turner
What defines strength is how you perform an exercise...not the exercise...
I agree with Leigh... core strength is important but if you're doing the sort of training necessary for MMA (i.e. incl. wrestling, grappling, weightlighting) then whatever you want to define as your "core" should be getting trained enough.
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Gary 'Smiler' Turner
Hmmm...getting deeper down the chart now...
For 'maximal' you need to have the maximum load possible...
So do you load the feet with weights?
Or to increase the load do you increase the speed...
But then will you induce momentum and lessen the true measurement...
I think the central issue is core training for injury prevention versus core training for sports performance. There needs to be a firm distinction between the two because i think as far as sports performance is concerned - for an already trained and conditioned fighter he will make more gains come fight night by concentrating on other psychological , technical and strategic aspects of training rather than core training.
Core training for injury prevention - there are lots of population groups - beginners, people coming back from injury or a lay off, sedentary people, older athletes , who will benefit from the core training you mention before they do more specific stuff. They can also be used for assessment purposes for an experienced athlete. No problem with that.
But for somebody who already has gained a solid foundation , then i think there'll get diminishing returns for effort that could have been better spent on areas which are more cutting edge in terms of actual performance.
Everybody who compete seriously has at least a good core - but there is more variance between people with regards to other areas that can also be the focus of training (Psychological, technical etc)- and its those areas that are more likely to provide an advantage come fight night.
I also think your definition is too parsimonious. Is it core strength? core endurance? neuromuscular control?
Gary 'Smiler' Turner
Lol, you are the Vanessa Feltz of the forums! (I mean in respect to your use of language, not size!!!!)
Whereas I fully agree that the first concentration, the main focus should always be on improving performance first, I still get my clients and prescribe to myself to improve the cores as I described. I place injury prevention high in the priorities, as if you incurr an injury it can really hamper any training you are doing.
Injury factor apart, I fully agree with the diminishing returns principle for sure. And I'm pleased you've hit on psychological - its an area all too forgotten by fighters!
What I have to say is that the core training I prescribe can be done separate to other training, uses very little equipment or space requirements, and can be fitted into a week's training really simply without taking away from the remainder of the training. It can be carried out at times when gyms aren't available, time is short, no training partners etc...and as it can be slotted in to not affect the remainder of training sessions I think that every serious athlete should be able to do one core session each week...
And yep, you've just highlighted the complexity of sports science and how easy it is to put forward a generalised term! Yep, I do my training the core for strength, endurance and neuromuscular control...but they all tend towards each other too....
Nice post fella!
While the strength and endurance might lie along the same continuum, neuromuscular control is a different concept and fundamental to the other two. Even though they can't be totally isolated in whole body movements, exercises can be designed that place more demand on one component over the others - but in a lot of core training programs out there its not made clear.
Most people have an idea how to manipulate an exercise schedule to produce a higher strength or endurance demand - but not how to manipulate an exercise to produce a more neuromuscular control demand or even why the concept is so important in the first place.
The neuro-muscular control is integral to a whole bunch of things necessary to perform a smooth movement - before its even started - planning the strength required, timing of agonist and antagonists , expected consequences of completing the movement , balancing out forces within different body segments and coordinating all this within different brain areas. All this happens in between intending to do something and actually doing it - fractions of a second - and involves extensive feedback and feedforward loops within the brain and spinal cord to and from postural groups and prime movers. During the learning stages of a movement or coming back from an injury these connections need to be established again - which is why core training is essential for these people. Also Feedforward loops are crucial for open skilled sports , and help lay the foundation for anticipatory skills which is one of the most important psychological skills a fighter can have.
The exercises to develop these processes are not always the same as those to develop strength and endurance. Even within an exercise that appears the same - certain manipulations can be made to stress neuromuscular control - depending on what you wanted to train - as you said - it depends on how you do it - but also i'd say on what people understand by the mechanisms involved. I'm not being pedantic for the sake of it - It's important to have a precise and clear understanding of the mechanisms to be able to identify exercise manipulations to target those processes and also to be able to evaluate properly other training exercises rather than just following it coz person X says its good or because that fighters doing it - which seems to be some peoples fall back position.
im gonna have to go back to sherdog to get training info, this forum getting way to intelligent for me
so would training things like cleans and deadlifts and strengthening the abs work the core then practice sport specific moves to adapt that strength to your sport. or build core strength with sport specific moves first off? sorry if its been explained allready and i missed it.