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Core Training Foundation

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Welcome to Effective Core Training

Core training continues to be a hot topic and is probably the most misunderstood area in the health industry in the past 10 years. Research has been read and misinterpreted in my opinion to leave many confused.

What is Effective Core Training?

Effective core training in my opinion is training the core to work effectively when running. I take this to mean, prepare the bodies joints and muscles to experience and control movements that happen when running. Ideally this will ultimately be done subconsciously so these muscles work automatically without thinking about them.

HOW?

Simply put, we train toe nail to finger nail! However there are some key progressions that I use and find if we skip steps then these usually come back to bite you in the bum later on! If we do our ‘Core Training’ in a certain order, i find the muscles and joints respond favourably via the brain to allow us to continue to improve. 

Diaphragm and Airway Position

This section is the platform upon which the rest of the core training system is based upon. You see, a lot of people worry about diaphragmatic breathing and belly breathing. I try not to focus on this but give you techniques to allow you to work the diaphragm through a full range of motion instead. What I find is this allows you to get a reflexive contraction then and it happens automatically.

A diaphragm that can go through a full range of motion will allow the ribcage to mobilise correctly which will allow you to run better in the form of improved hip extension, better movement around the ribcage and better breathing.

Electricity To Key Muscles

Sometimes, I find muscles just need a stimulus to respond to in order to remind the brain of the muscle in the form of sensory afferent input in the form of specific techniques. These combined with a correct diaphragmatic range of motion can ‘jump start’ muscles quickly and allow you to send a signal from the brain to the muscle again. Sometimes this signal can become interrupted and these techniques allow us to combine the first two levels of the pyramid before we progress to the more advanced techniques.

Conscious Recruitment of Key Gait Muscles

Your brain recognises and prefers patterns rather than individual muscles. We can use this knowledge to give your brain some key stimulus and get some key patterns of muscles working together by thinking consciously about what OUR FEET are doing! By consciously pressing and stimulating certain joints of the foot into the floor, we can set up a good response for muscles higher up the chain to work together.

This can give you a more controlled feeling where muscles on either side of your joints and indeed limbs are communicating effectively, giving you a sense of ‘balance’ and ‘control’.

Subconscious Recruitment of Key Gait Muscles

This is the holy grail in my opinion and essential for all runners to master. You see, we need you up on your feet, your centre of mass travelling forward, your pelvis travelling one way while your ribcage travels another all the while your muscles elongating like elastic bands ready to fire you forward EFFORTLESSLY and EFFICIENTLY.

Why?

Because it is physically impossible to ‘THINK’ about turning a muscle on or ‘Activating’ a muscle throughout a run for the duration of the race. It is just impossible and to be honest I bet would completely alter your stride and just leak energy.

If you can get every muscle from your toe nail to your finger nail, communicating and working together to cause this elastic band analogy of using the pre stretch, loading and exploding effectively, imagine how springy and efficient you would be?

In the coming months, I will show you exactly how to do all of the above…

In the coming months, I will unlock key exercises for you to master in a certain order at certain times, in what I believe from experience of trial and error with hundreds of athletes is the correct progressions. These are also the correct progressions because in my mind, it makes sense that we look after the systems that the brain puts most priority on first in the form of the diaphragm and keeping you ALIVE! Once we get this working more efficiently, then it is safe for us to move on!

I hope you enjoy this journey as I teach and coach you the key movements that I find work the best.

Core Training Introduction Video

Phase 1 – Getting the foundation

Nailing the foundation

You will notice in phase 1, there is a massive cross over between the breathing retraining program and the core training program. If someone was not particularly struggling with breathing problems, then I am inclined to progress them further along and hence start with some higher end breathing exercises.

In an ideal world, we would finish the breathing training progressions before progressing to the core training, it is that important but knowing you runners, you will just go straight ahead anyways which is why I’ve laid it out this way.

In my High Performance Program, the core training aspect is accelerated to more high level exercises and movements. It is laid out differently, as we are aiming to hit a PB or break a plateau in six weeks and hence is tweaked. This core program is under the assumption that we had 12 to 16 weeks to progress you.

Breathing Subconsious Humming
Here is a live version of the Subconscious Humming Protocol. Lips together, teeth apart, tongue on the roof of your mouth, keep your eyes focused on a spot in front of you. Inhale through your nose and hum effortlessly for as long as possible. At the end of the hum, pause for a second, swallow, inhale and repeat for a total of 3 reps.

 

Breathing Mechanics Conscious Breathing Balloon Tutorial 
This is a live demo of the Ballon Breathing Tutorial. Breathe in through your nose for 2 seconds, exhale effortlessly but continuously into the balloon for 6 seconds in total. Pinch the bridge of the balloon, pause for a second, inhale through the nose and exhale again into the balloon for a total of 3 repetitions or until the balloon fills completely. Repeat for a total of 3 full balloons.

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