In the midst of all the tremendous performances in London over the past few weeks, it has been impossible to miss the crazy display of abs. While it may be tempting to start a program of daily crunches, that might be the WORST choice you could make! (See Sparta Point)
There are a few things to keep in mind when thinking about the physique of these Olympians:
- They represent the top fraction of a percent of athletes in the world – as such they have tremendous genetic gifts.
- The Olympic Games are the culmination of a lifetime of training – not to mention extreme focus, hard work, and dedication over the last four years.
- Physical appearance is not the primary goal of any of these athletes!!! It is important to remember that when you take care “big things” (training, sleep, nutrition), the little things usually take care of themselves.
The real purpose of core training is not to show off a six pack (although it is a nice benefit), but rather to improve performance by increasing the efficiency with which the torso transfers GRF. (See Sparta Point)
Key Coaching Points:
- Set a neutral spine
- Engage abs and glutes in order to maintain spinal / pelvic alignment
- Shoulders and hips should move out and back in at the same rate
- Initiate movement from deep in the core (just below the belly button) on the way in
There is so much more to core training than “Abs”, but bar roll outs are at the top of the list when it comes to comprehensive movements that improve the performance (and maybe even the appearance) of the core.