Importance of Core Strength and Stability
In an athlete’s world core strength and balance are everything. When I state core, I am describing the strength between the knees and shoulders. Many people believe that training the core is doing the standard sit up, crunch, or “bicycle”, but the core goes much beyond this. In truth the core is trained while doing squats, deadlifts, push ups, running, pitching, throwing, hitting, and many other activities.
In an article on called, “Do You Know What Your Core Really Does?” by Jeff Kuhland there are 3 statements that stand out to me
“Your core acts more as a stabilizer and force transfer center rather than a prime mover.”
“We must look at the core as the ability to produce force with respect to core stability, which is the ability to control the force we produce.
“Research has shown that athletes with high core stability have a lower risk of injury.”
The three statements above are directly quoted from Jeff Kuhland because they could not be stated any better.
In every quote the word “stability” is stated. Stability is the quality or state of something not easily moved. Being stable or balanced is critical in all movements. Everyone who comes to Strictly Softball for any type of instruction can count on hearing one of the following statements from either Mila or myself in every lesson… work to stay balanced, stay down in your legs, tighten your core, bend your knees, shoulders over your toes, when you finish your pitch/swing freeze. All of these statements are directly related to getting the kids to engage their core and balance their bodies as well as stabilize their trunk.
As stated above, training your core is not just doing the typical abdominal exercises. Using functional movements (every day movements or movements directly related to your sport) to help create a more stable trunk will help each athlete create more balance, which will directly relate to less injury, more consistency, and more power. Having the ability to balance or stabilize will give each kid the ability to move the limbs more freely and with more power without the body falling out of position. If a young athlete has issues holding a load position in a pitch or holding the knee drive in a swing without falling over, how will power ever be produced? As soon as the body loses stability, the mind automatically triggers muscles to keep the body upright, and therefore disrupts the muscle memory of the task at hand.
How to make this happen you ask? Just like everything else, this needs consistent time, energy, and practice. Building core strength and stability is just like anything else. A little at a time will go a long way. This month we have put together two balance, stability, and core strength workouts for both hitters and pitchers. The exercises chosen are directly related to the movements that are needed for a pitcher and hitter to be successful. The workouts can be found under our E- Training on the website.
Big 30 – Overall Great for Core Strength – Shoulders, Hips, Abdominals, Obliques, and Back
Pitchers Stability – Specific to Pitchers Performance, but great for all Athletes
Hitters Stability – Specific to the Hitters Performance, but great for all Atheltes
Buy All 3 – Use Pitchers stability for day 1, Big 30 for Day 2, and Hitters Stability for Day