As I’ve mentioned on my previous posts, martial arts training is very broad in scope. Some people might think that it’s all about brute force. But nothing can be further from the truth. Aside from force or power, there are other areas that martial arts training encompass. This includes speed or agility, endurance, stamina and strength among many others. The success of your training will greatly depend on how well you master and improve in these areas. Different martial arts may focus on a certain aspect more. Still it remains that all of these components must be enhanced for you to ensure success.
Among these components, a recent focus has geared towards core strength. In most physical activity including sports and martial arts, developing your core strength is vital. Since most of these activities require muscles in the abdomen, limbs and back to work perfectly together, strengthening these them is essential. Training to improve your core strength is particularly significant to people competing in martial arts since physical contact is inevitable.
There are many benefits to core strength training. In fact, you don’t only improve your core strength. It also enhances a person’s sense of balance and control. I came across with an article entitled “Core Strength Training – Not Just About Your Abs” which discusses the many benefits an individual can gain from core strength training. The succeeding sections are excerpts from that article.
The muscles of the trunk and torso act to stabilize the spine, pelvis and shoulder girdle. From this solid, balanced base the limbs can be moved powerfully and under control. In fact before rapid movements of the extremities can take place, the central nervous system stabilizes the spine in anticipation (1). The rate at which the core muscles stabilize the spine may have a direct effect on the power of limb movement (2).
Core strength training differs from many traditional weight training routines by working both the lower back and abdominals in unison. The same is true for the upper and lower body. All athletic movements incorporate the core in some way. Very few muscle groups are isolated.
What are the benefits of core strength training to the athlete?
- Greater efficiency of movement
- Improved body control and balance
- Increased power output from both the core musculature and peripheral muscles such as the shoulders, arms and legs
- Reduced risk of injury (the core muscles act as shock absorbers for jumps and rebounds etc.)
- Improved balance and stability
- Improved athletic performance!