In almost every single sport, building a strong foundation is important to sustaining success. Once I grasped it in my younger days in the martial arts, my techniques improved. So did my fighting abilities. [pullquote]If you look at the best fighters, they use all of their foundational and core strength to deliver a knock-out punch.[/pullquote]
My focus has been to train the body as a single unit as much as possible. This enables me to connect each part together so that I’m much stronger in a functional way. It was important for me as a fighter and even more so now that do Parkour. My legs have to be able to withstand the punishing jumps and land correctly without injury. At my age it’s become even more important. The muscles around my knees need to strong. So does my core.
The core consists of muscles of the abdominal area, the obliques, the lower and part of the mid back, and the glutes. Many people I’ve trained have very weak gluteus muscles, especially in the gluteus medius. The glutes are important in many areas that we engage in physically. Being able to sprint take strong glutes and so does lifting.
The foundation starts with the legs. This includes being able to have explosive force with them. This is where plyometric exercises come in handy. A sprinter needs that kind of explosive muscle to run at 25+ miles per hour over 100 meters. So does a long jumper. In Parkour I practice doing broad jumps to help build the explosiveness in my legs. That is just one of the exercises I engage in.
When building a strong core and foundation, you’ll need to challenge them with a variety of movements. This includes changing what you do from time-to-time. In a sense, it’s about keeping your muscles guessing. If you do a particular sport, then you’ll need to focus on training specifically for it.
Tips to help build a strong foundation and core…
- When you exercise make sure to tighten your abdominal area. This will add stability.
- Engage in plyometric exercises. They are not just for building explosive strength. They also engage Type IIB muscle fibers for extra growth.
- Use a number of different core building exercises. This will ensure growth due to challenging your muscles in a variety of ways.
- Make sure to do exercises that combine a multitude of muscle groups. Isolation defeats the purpose. It takes many to help create a strong foundation.
- I love doing deadlifts. They build the legs, core, back, shoulders, chest and arms. Overall, it’s one of the best weightlifting exercises that one can do.
- Keep a good posture throughout the day. Doing so helps to develop a good core.
- Building your leg muscles helps to stabilize your joints and especially your knees.
- Do exercises that challenge your glutes. Many people neglect this important area of the core.
- Make sure to build strong muscles, strong endurance and increased flexibility in your core and foundation.
- Eat healthier foods high in quality nutrition.
There are many more tips not in here. I think these are a good start for you. Remember, your core is the stability for your body. If it’s weak, then your whole body is weak. Work on it and it may one day even save your life.