CrossFit Gainesville- School Of Elite Fitness
Core... not just your abs
Most people walking into a gym usually have their minds set on obtaining some kind of aesthetic or functional goal. Which ever one of these goals one might be after, the core is usually one of the more if not the most significant musculature that is targeted.
This is nothing new to the majority of the people reading this. However, did you know that your core is more than just those six squares you see popping out of bodybuilders stomachs? Yes, the Rectus Abdominus, better known as the six pack muscle, is a part of your core but it is the most superficial muscle in your core. This means it is the most visual part of your core, so in turn people make the common training mistake of targeting this muscle for aesthetic purposes. On top of that mistake, another rises with people trying to target this muscle by performing high repetition spinal flexion movements. This not only can overtrain your rectus abdominus but can lead to compensation patterns and movement dysfunction from secondary muscles that are supposed to be aiding in spinal flexion taking over the movement altogether. This usually causes chronic low back pain and/or hip flexor dysfunction.
From these compensatory actions, the level of muscle recruitment from the Rectus Abdominis can lessen over time. So for instance a movement like toes to bar, which is supposed to primarily target the rectus abdominis can end up being a movement dominated by the hip flexors. Due to the less recruited rectus to help accelerate/decelerate the lower body, this will put a lot of unwanted stress on the lower lumbar spinal stabilizers.
So yes, spinal flexion (sit ups, toes to bar,V-ups) is a biomechanical function of the rectus abdominis but it is not the best and definitely not the only way to train that portion of the core. The core has many functions and many muscles, the rectus abdominus and spinal flexion are individual components.
The abdominal wall is comprised of four layers of musculature, all with distinct fiber orientations, actions and functional capabilities. When working in conjunction with one another, the core can also act as a functional unit to connect segments of the body together while creating a stable environment for serious force to be produced out of the legs and arms.The deepest layer of the core is the transversus abdominis. This muscle's fibers run horizontal in orientation while also acting largely as a tonic stabilizer of the abdominal cavity. It's attachment directly to the spine also makes it important for lumbar and lower thoracic spine stabilization. The internal and external obliques are located on both sides of the anterior-lateral thoracic cage and act to side-bend, rotate, and aid in flexion of the spine. The internal oblique on the left side works in unison with the external oblique on the opposite side, and vice versa, to coordinate smooth, stable movements of the core.
With all these functions and capabilities it is important to train the core to functionally perform them. One cannot rely solely on the rectus abdominis muscle for core development. Of course you can throw in spinal flexion exercises to make those six packs pump out a little more but you should also be supplementing your core training with anti-flexion, rotation, and bending exercises to fully maximize the strength and definition of the trunk. If you do this right you will see the benefits of a very functional core and the beach body that everybody strives for! SOOOO train your core, not your ABS!
Workout of the Day
Aerobic Power Progressions [we'll be building out on these]
4 min on, 2 min off;
4x Slam-Ball, 8x Lemon Squeezer
4x Ring Row, 8x Strider [total reps/sub to walking lunge]
40m Farmers Walk [20 out/20 back] + 80x Jump Rope Passes
Row for Cal
Ax4; For skill & quality
A1. Muscle Up Transition x3-5 reps, rest 30sec
Modify up to strict/weighted muscle ups
A2. Handstand Hold x30 sec, rest 30 sec
freestanding - partner assist - front to wall
B. Chipper; for time (18 min cap)
50x KB Clean [53/35 - heavier as needed, Scale down as needed]
40x Pull Ups [adv C2B]
30x Box Jump Overs [24/20]
400m Bumper Plate Run [45/25#]
Can you pat your head and rub your belly?
It requires quite a bit of mental effort for most people! When was the last time you actually put that much mental effort to how you did something? Outside of my classes, I mean. ;) Do you ever think about how you move different parts of your body? How do you get off the toilet? Do you rock your upper body forward and use momentum? Or maybe you use your hand to push on your knees to stand up? My guess is that you don't know unless you're sore and it hurts, right?
From day 1 at CFG you learn that it matters which parts of your body you are using to perform different movements. You are learning that in order to create the desired results and feel, you need to get your body in the correct position, using ALL of the correct muscles.
Problems come in when you try to do too many too fast or too heavy and you forego proper technique then, like I said before, it hurts, and now you pay attention. Your body, just like running water, will take the path of least resistance. What I mean is that instead of sitting or standing up straight, holding your core in and shoulders back your body will try to lean and stretch in order to avoid using muscles and it will attempt to hold you up with tendons and ligaments. Are you sitting or standing up straight right now?
Our goal is to educate you on how to perform quality, effective fitness training that can last a lifetime in order for you to live the results. That takes a lot of mental effort and corrdination on your part! So let's practice! Check out the video below and stand up and try it out!
Try out some coordination drills with this guy!
Workout Of the Day
A1. Front Squat x5; 31x1, rest 30 sec
A2. Seated DB Press x8; 21x1 [both arms together], rest 60 sec
B: 3 Rounds for time; rest 1 min 'active' after each round
20x Wall Ball
10x Push Ups
A:10 min; One set every 2 min
3x Power Snatch + 3x Behind Neck Push Press + 3x OHS
50, 60, [70-75%]3
Snatch Grip Halting Deadlift x5 reps @90-100% of 1RM
halt = pause in power position for 1 second so you can ‘feel’ where you should be
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Workout of the Day
A1. Hang Power Clean x5 reps
A2. DB Bent Over Row x8; 31x1
B. 4 Rounds; 1 min per station, rest 1 min after all 3 stations are complete
Russian KB Swings
Jump Rope Passes [1 pt every 10 jumps]
Row for Cal
12 min Alt EMOM
A1. Supinated Strict Chin Up x5 reps, working up in weight
A2. Single Leg RDL x5; 2020 each leg
A3. DB Bench Press x6-8; 30x1
B. 10 min AMRAP
Max Rep Push Ups