The best ways to get maximum results from your training sessions and to prevent injury is to focus on the core. Your core encompasses the muscles of the hip, shoulder, and torso, all working together as a functional unit.
The core, in the center of your pillar, is the foundation upon which all movement occurs. When the core muscles work in a smooth and synchronized manner, they help maintain correct spinal and pelvic alignment while the arms and legs are moving.
Core stability also allows the body to prevent collapse and return to symmetrical balance after movement. In other words, strengthening this area can help a player develop greater body control on the court, hopefully decreasing their potential for injury.
HOW TO IMPROVE IT
A common misconception is that doing sit-ups and crunches is all you need to train your core, but that only trains one portion of the core in one plane of movement. Here’s a sampling of movements that develop all muscles from the hips to shoulders. Incorporate these exercises into your workout routine, and you will see major improvements in your core stability and with your entire fitness results.
Lying on your stomach with your forearms on the ground under your chest and your feet slightly wider than hip width apart.
Push off of your elbows, supporting your weight on your forearms and toes. Hold a static position for the prescribed length of time
Keep your tummy tight and your head in line with your spine. There should be a straight line between your ear and your ankle, with no sagging or bending.
You Should Feel It
Working your shoulders, trunk and core.
begin in a side-lying position with your top knee on top of a bench
In a lateral plank position, place the top leg on a bench with the bottom leg into a vent leg knee drive position. Lift the hips up until your body is in a straight line. Keep the lower leg off the floor.
Once you feel you can comfortably own that position (this may take several weeks of performing this movement), slide farther away from the bench so only your top foot and ankle are on its surface.
You Should Feel It
The Copenhagen plank strengthens the adductors for strength balance of the hip and to help protect against adductor strains.
Lying face up on ground with hands on stomach and hips and knees both flexed to 90 degrees
While keeping your core braced and tight, slowly extent your right leg and right arm without moving your spine. Repeat with the other side and continue for the prescribed number of repetitions.
Do not allow any movement through your back during the exercise. For increased difficulty level, straighten your legs more and more
You Should Feel It
Working the muscles in your trunk
Assume a kneeling position with your hands flat on the floor just above your shoulders and your arms straight under your shoulders. Your torso should form a fairly straight line from your head to your knees. You may also need to place a pad, pillow, or folded towel under your knees for comfort.
Walk your arms out in front of you as far as possible without allowing your lower back to extend beyond the starting position. Reverse the motion, walking your hands back so that they end up just in front of your shoulders.
Keep your body in a straight line throughout; do not allow your hips or head to sag toward the floor. Squeeze your glutes tightly each time that you walk your hands out to the long position. Walk your arms out only as far as you can without feeling discomfort in your lower back.
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