Tag Archives: Core training

Bosu Core Training

This Bosu Core trainingBosu side plank is a more advanced and intensive workout for the core muscles. Because the Bosu Ball provides an instable surface, these exercises activate more muscles than the same exercise performed without a Bosu Ball and can therefore be more effective than their counterparts without the Bosu Ball. The muscles primarily targeted by these exercises are the m. rectus abdominis, m. obliquus externus abdominis, m. obliquus internus abdominis, m. transversus abdominis, m. erector spinae and the mm. multifidi. Because many muscles are active during these exercises, the muscles of the lower back might be felt during abdominal exercises. As long as this does not hurt, it poses no problem and is an indication that the muscles are trained. As soon as the exercise hurts the lower back, it should be stopped.

BOSU vs T-Bow vs Stable Surface Training

Training on unstable surfaces Bosu core stability traininghas gained much popularity in recent years. Performing exercises on a Swiss Ball, BOSU Balance Trainer or T-Bow is said to increase muscle activity in stabilizing muscle groups. Therefore it should be more effective than the same exercises performed in stable situations in increasing muscle strength. Scientists from the University of Valencia, Spain set out to test this theory and compare the effects of training on different unstable surfaces with exercises performed on stable surfaces. So which is more effective? Training using a BOSU vs T-Bow vs training on a stable surface?

Core stability training on unstable devices

In many fitness centers people perform core stabilityBosu core stability training training to strengthen the so-called ‘core’ on unstable surfaces. Well known examples of these are the Bosu Balance Trainer, Bosu Ball (Both Sides Up) and the Swiss Ball. The core is usually defined as the region of the body which is made up by the abdominal wall, pelvic floor, the lower back and the diafragm. This region plays an important role in stabilizing the spine during movements and is therefore crucial in sports performance. In addition, a large percentage of low back pain cases are caused by badly functioning core muscles. The idea behind training on an instable surface is that more muscles are active to stabilize the body during any given movement compared with performing the same movement on a stable surface. This would result in improving intermuscular coordination and therfore reduce complaints caused by weak or badly cooperating muscles. Moreover it could result in better training results and in many sport activities improve performance. This article aims to review the scientific evidence for core stability training on unstable surfaces as a means to treat low back pain and as functional training to enhance sports performance.

What is Pilates and what does it do?

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a very popular training form developed Pilatesby Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. At the core of Pilates are movements and postures that activate deeper muscles and lets them work together in better unison, the so called muscle chains. The original training method was specially developed for well trained, professional dancers. Current Pilates classes however are better suited for the average gym visitor.

Benefits of Pilates

Pilates is a very effective training form and has several very important benefits.

It strengthens the core muscles

Practically all Pilates exercises require stabilization of the spine and therefore it is a very effective method to strengthen the core muscles. This is not only important to show of your abdominal muscles, but is useful in most daily tasks and other sports and exercises as well.

It increases flexibility

Flexibility of the body depends for a large part on how well muscles work together and their ability to stabilize the joints. If a joint can’t be stabilized in a certain position, the muscles will stiffen to prevent the body from reaching that position. When properly exercised and when they can work together sufficiently well, the joints can be stabilized in a larger range of motion which helps increasing flexibility.

It improves coordination and balance

Pilates exercises target many muscle groups at the same time which improves their ability to co-operate during difficult movements. This leads to more efficient and less jerky movements. This in addition to enhanced proprioception, also known as ability to sense the position of the body, leads to improvements in balance.

It decreases low back pain

Pilates exercises target the deeper core musculature and therefore help stabilize the lower back and the pelvis. Strengthening these muscles increases joint stability and therefore decreases low back pain considerably. It is therefore an effective method to help treat a specific low back pain.

What is suspension training and what does it do?

What is suspension training and what does it do?

TRX suspension training is a new form of training which employs a Suspension trainingdevice consisting of a band with two handles. Because the TRX suspension trainer hangs from a supporting beam or branch, many different exercises can be performed which use the body’s own weight (or a part of it) for resistance.

Contrary to many regular fitness machines which limit the freedom of movement, performing similar exercises on the TRX trainer requires a better technique and more stabilisation of the body to perform the exercises correctly. Therefore more muscle fibers are activated to stabilise the body during the movement and they are activated to a greater extent.

The Core (center of the body, which includes the abdominal and lower back muscles) is effectively trained, which will increase total body strength because muscles can work together more efficiently. Additionally, energy consumption after training will increase as a result of the large number of muscles that are trained using the TRX.

TRX suspension training is an effective means to increase strength, exercise the Core muscles, to improve muscle coordination and stimulate the metabolism with the aid of a short high intensity workout.

See also:

-Resistance training: Free weights or machines?