Being able to distinguish between a good pain and a not-so-good pain is critically important for all of us who engage in regular vigorous exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle. Even highly trained athletes such as those on high school and college teams, dancers, and those training for long distance races or multisport events may have difficulty knowing when they are able to work through some pain and discomfort versus needing to pay attention to a real injury.
How long have athletes been doing core exercises? Whether the topic is education or exercise, core content and core activities tie everything together. In education, core content includes the specific information upon which the course is based. Students are expected, at the very least, to demonstrate mastery of the core content. In exercise, core activities establish the musculoskeletal foundation that supports and enables all other components of physical fitness, including strength training, cardiorespiratory exercise, and sports readiness.The term “core” in core exercise is relatively new, but athletes and other persons participating in physical fitness activities have been doing core routines since at least the time of the ancient Greeks, more than 2500 years ago. For example, wrestling, the ancient Greeks’ most popular organized sport, is grounded in core stability and strength. More recently, in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, high school “phys ed” classes emphasized squat thrusts, jumping jacks, pushups, pullups, and abdominal strengthening. Thus, before the advent of today’s ubiquitous fitness centers and the plethora of personal trainers teaching members how to do an abdominal curl-up on a physioball, core exercises were part of the regular curriculum of all public school students in ninth grade and beyond. Core exercise is not new, but [...]
Being light on your feet is important! We all know people who are light on their feet. Fred Astaire comes immediately to mind, as do tennis star Andy Roddick, the great Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter, and WNBA star Candace Parker. Closer to home, we may recognize similar combinations of grace and athleticism in a family member or friend. We may believe that such qualities are inborn and represent natural abilities. But each of us can develop comparable qualities of fluidity and ease of motion. We may not achieve the skill levels possessed by professional athletes, but we can acquire improved posture, greater balance, and heightened skills in day-to-day tasks requiring dexterity and coordination. In other words, we can all develop a spring in our step. Studies show that consistency is all important Such a springiness and lightness are the direct result of efficient biomechanical functioning of the spinal column and weight-bearing bones and joints including the pelvis and hips, knees, and ankles.1,2 Such efficient biomechanical functioning is innate, but these abilities are gradually lost as we grow up, encounter the stresses of life, and become more and more sedentary. Over time, our musculoskeletal system loses flexibility, dynamism, quickness, and [...]