fitness training - The core
can be defined as the strength of the muscles around the mid section
that stabilize the hips and spine during movement. Strong core strength
is essential to performance as it holds the body still which allows
full force transfer. For example, when tackling a player you hit
them with your shoulder.
core would allow all the force in your legs to be transmitted through
into your shoulder and onto the opponent.
core would not transmit anywhere near the same force and you could
see you body buckle and collapse under the pressure often resulting
in a missed tackle.
core muscles relate to amongst others the deep transverse abdominal
(below the main abdominal's) pelvic floor muscles (muscles that
stop you going to the toilet) deep spinal muscles and the gluteus
muscles (buttocks). Through ensuring these muscles are correctly
working then improving their strength the body builds a solid foundation
upon which to increase the strength of your limbs.
training is a subdivision of resistance training. The importance
to performance is significant and therefore it is separated out
into it's own method. The technique for core exercises are divided
into two aspects. Firstly, it is vital to learn how to correctly
engage the protective muscles of the midsection. Once achieved the
focus is then placed on strengthening these muscles through various
learn how to correctly recruit the core muscles you must first learn
how to hold a neutral spine. This refers to standing with correct
posture and thus ensuring all the joints are optimally aligned.
To find your neutral spine:
with your heels, buttocks, shoulders and head against the wall.
With one hand feel how much space there is in the arch of your
A neutral spine should have just enough room for one hand to slide
into the arch of the lower back while the heels, buttocks, shoulders
and head remain touching the wall.
If you cannot get your hand in the arch or there is room for much
more than one hand e.g. your fist. Your posture needs to be adjusted,
this will come from following the set out stretches and strengthening
the neutral spine position you can then activate the core muscles.
To do this you need to consciously
Breathe in using your diaphragm (pushing your upper stomach outwards).
Contract the pelvic floor muscles, by stopping yourself going
to the toilet at the back then the front.
Draw the stomach area below the belly button into the spine as
close as possible. Imagine you are trying to pull on a really
tight pair of trousers and must get them over your lower stomach.
addition to activating the core. It is also necessary to use the
larger muscles of the buttock and midsection.
exercises are designed to challenge the core by using a series of
holds and movements which combine your body weight and ideally a
Swiss ball. The exercises are each designed to challenge the body
to gain core strength in each movement direction. The exercises
are progressed through increasing their difficulty.
in the core exercises
to vary the core exercise by duration, difficulty and type of exercise
is covered through the concepts of periodization. Without using
these simple yet powerful concepts your strength will be inhibited
long term. Read
more on periodization.
training is just one of the different training areas any serious
rugby player should focus upon.
mains areas to focus upon are agility,
core and flexibility.
The combination of these based upon your specific needs will produce
optimize the benefits from training any conditioning routine must
be backed up by nutrition.
The most effective sports nutrition system in the world is metabolic
typing. It is used by many professional teams. It is based on
discovering your unique nutritional needs.
final aspect of performance is ensuring the mind is tuned for success.
This can be done by using Emotional
freedom technique (EFT). A powerful psychological