NASM Chapter 9 Core Training Concepts

  • The Core
    1. The center of the body and the beginning point for movement.
    2. The structures that make up the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex (LPHC), including the lumbar spine, the pelvic girdle, abdomen, and the hip joint.
    3. The Core is where the body’s center of gravity (COG) is located and where all movement originates.
  • •Core Musculature has been divided into- Local and global stabilization systems.
  • Local stabilization system 
    1. Local core stabilizers are muscles that attach directly to the vertebrae.
    2. primarily consist of type 1 (slow twitch muscles)
    3. Responsible for intervertebral and intersegmental stability and work limit to excessive compressive, shear, and rotational forces between spinal segment.
    4. Provide support from vertebra to vertebra
    5. Made up of the muscles – Transverse abdominis, internal obliques, Multifidus, Pelvic Floor musculature.
    6. These muscles contribute to segmental spinal stability by increasing intra-abdominal pressure and generating tension in the thoracolumbar fascia (connective tissue of the lower back.)
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  • Global Stabilization System –
    1.Attach from the pelvis to the spine
    2. These muscles act as transfer loads between the upper and lower extremity
    3. Provide stabilization and eccentric control of the core during functional movements.
    4. The muscles that make up the global stabilization system – Quadratus lumborum, psoas major, external obliques, portions of the internal oblique, rectus abdominis. gluteus medius, and adductor complex
  • Movement System –
    1. Includes muscles that attach the spine and/or pelvis to the extremities.
    2. Primarily responsible for concentric force and Eccentric deceleration
    3.Primary muscles –  Latissimus dorsi, hip flexors, hamstring complex, and quadriceps (Think mostly lower portions of the body minus the lats)
    4.Collectively provides dynamic stabilization and neuromuscular control of the entire core (LPHC)
  • •The systems from the inside out appear as. (Local ⇒ Global ⇒ Movement)
    This means training the movement system muscles before training the muscles of the global and local stabilization systems would not make sense from both a structural and biomechanical standpoint.
  • •NOTE: If the movement system musculature of the core is strong and the local stabilization is weak, the kinetic chain senses imbalance and forces are not transferred or used properly- leading to compensation, synergistic dominance, and inefficient movements.
  • •80% Of U.S. adults have Lower back pain (LBP)
    Research has found that those with LBP have decreased activation of certain muscles or groups, including: transverse abdominis, internal obliques, pelvic floor muscles, multifidus, diaphragm, and deep erector spinae.  Those with chronic LBP tend to have weaker back extensor muscles and decreased muscular endurance.
  • •Core Stabilization exercises restore the size, activation and endurance of the multifidus (Deep spine muscle) in individuals with LBP
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  • Drawing-In Maneuver
    1. Activation of the transverse abdominis, multifidus, pelvic floor muscles, and diaphragm to provide core stabilization.
    2. A maneuver used to recruit the local core stabilizers by drawing the navel in toward the spine.
  • Bracing
    1. Occurs when you have contracted both the abdominal, lower back, and buttock muscles at the same time.
    2. Referred to as the co-contraction of the global muscles, such as the rectus abdominis, external obliques, and the quadratus lumborum. 
    3. AKA bearing down or tightening of the global muscles. 
  • •NOTE: A comprehensive core training program should be systematic, progressive, functional, and emphasize the entire muscle action spectrum focusing on force production (Concentric), force reduction (Eccentric) and dynamic stabilization (Isometric).
  • •There are 3 levels of core training- Stabilization, Strength, And power.
  • NASM-Table-9.3
  • Core-Stabilization Training (Phase 1)
    1.In this phase most exercise involve little motion through the spine and pelvis.
    2.These exercises are designed to improve neuromuscular efficiency and intervertbral stability, focusing on drawing-in and then bracing during exercises.
    3. The client should spend 4 weeks at this level 
    4. Sample exercises for this phase- Marching, Floor bridge, Floor Prone Cobra, Prone Iso-Ab
  • Core Strength (Phases 2, 3, and 4)
    1.  This phase involves more dynamic eccentric and concentric movements of the spine throughout full range of motion while clients perform the activation techniques learned in core-stabilization training (Drawing in and Bracing) 
    2. Specificity, speed, and neural demands are progressed at this level.
    3. 4 weeks is the average amount of time spent at this level.  
    4. These exercises are designed to improve dynamic stabilization, concentric and eccentric strength, as well as neuromusclar efficiency of the entire kinetic chain
    5. Sample exercises include- Ball crunch, Back extensions, Reverse crunch, Cable rotations
  • Core Power (Phase 5)
    1.Designed to improve rate of force production of core musculature. Prepare an individual to dynamically stabilize and generate force at more functionally applicable speeds.
    2. Sample exercises include- Rotation chest pass, medicine ball pullover throw, front MB oblique throw, soccer throw. (Note all medicine ball exercises should be chosen at 5%-10% of Body weight BW)


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