Ripped Abs and No More Back Pain Series

By: Jim Smith

Combat to the Core

In this recent news story, Combat to the Core, Staff Sgt. Carlos Diaz discusses strengthening of our service men and women discusses a comprehensive approach to their abdominal training.

Here are a few excerpts:

"Core strength refers to abdominal and back muscles used to support the spine and keep bodies stable and balanced." and

"In general, strength core exercises such as Pilates and yoga have become very popular over the years because they concentrate on building good posture."

In this article it also shows the service men and women engaging in sit-ups. Let's take this point by point:

- Yes, the "core" does involve the abdominals and back, but what about the activation of the glutes and hip complex and their role stabilizing the pelvis?

- Yes, posture is very important and determines the athete's ability to activate and engage the appropriate musculature for specific movements. Bad posture will spawn dysfunctional and compensation. Pilates and yoga inherently promote better flexibility, but how much is needed? Be careful as some yoga asanas engage extreme positions and could lead to promoting flexibility in areas that require stability, namely the lower lumbar. Improve the tension / length relationships of the musculature and surrounding soft tissue and execute a balance of movements, i.e. a push for a pull during your workouts.

- Stop doing sit-ups! This hip flexor dominate exercise only acts to exacerbate tight hips, anterior pelvic tilt, glute dysfunction and over-active hamstrings. Get off your back and start moving!

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