What’s Wrong With This Core Training Picture? A Corrective Exercise Specialist Knows

What is wrong with this picture?

Read the text…”An Introduction to Core Stability”…an introduction??? how is standing on the ball an introduction? Maybe this wins style points and get a consumer to purchase something, but this is the message that many coaches and trainer have been fighting against for years. Quality before quantity! Master the simple then move to the complex! Ask any computer programmer ad they will agree that “Junk in equals junk out!” the same with the human body. If we learn sloppy habits trying to perform a task that is too far outside of our current abilities then we will merely create faulty and sloppy movement patterns to try and replicate the the task.

Exercise must be taught in progression, especially in core training. You would not see a tennis pro teaching an overhead serve in the first lesson to a true novice would you? Their brain would be scrambled! They might simply start with which grip to use and what the white lines on the court mean, right?

I came across this system that rates speech tasks in order of complexity from www.unl.edu;

“A Continuum of Linguistically Simple to Complex Speech Tasks.

(The CALMS Rating is the number to the right of the category if a high frequency of
stuttering appears at that level of linguistic complexity)

A. Automatic Speech: (5)
1. Count from 1-10
2. Say the days of the week.

B. Short Phrases: (5)
(Ask the child to repeat the phrase from a model or read the phrase)
1. “It’s a nice day.”
2. “I see a dog and a cat.”
3. “Sam bought Bobby a puppy for his birthday.”

C. Picture Description: (4) Show the child a picture that depicts some type of action and say to
the child, “Tell what’s going on in this picture.”

D. Picture Sequence: (4) Show the child a series of pictures from a script. Tell the story and
then with the pictures in front of the child, have the child retell the story he/she just

E. Ego-Centered Topic Discussion: (3) Have the child talk about his/her most recent birthday
party or a vacation/event he/she experienced personally.

F. De-Centered Topic Discussion: (2) Ask the child to describe in detail the content of a
familiar movie or a television show they have seen or a game (e.g., board or video
games) he/she has played recently.

G. Relational Topic Discussion: (1) In this task, ask the child to describe how one plays a
particular sport or activity that the child his familiar with. The clinician could say for
example, “Let’s say that I have never seen a (football, basketball, baseball, soccer) game.
Explain to me the object of the game, things about the game, how teams score points and
how a team wins or loses.”

H. Complex Oral Discourse: (1) Pick a topic the child would not have very much knowledge
of but has experienced in the real world (e.g., different types of clouds or how are clouds
formed- www.wildwildweather.com). Read a short explanation of the phenomenon and
then have the child retell the information they just heard.”

Correlate that to core training…the first task may be to have a client or athlete learn how to find a neutral position in their lumbo-pelvic hip complex (LPHC) and then perform the drawing in maneuver correctly, which most people struggle with due to muscular imbalances and years of sitting. Next exercises like floor bridges to have clients/athletes keep neutral in their LPHC while they use their glutes to move their hip joint.

Maybe I progress to a challenge in a different plane of motion with a “side ios-abs”…

Then maybe get fancy with a balance toy if you MUST use one, perhaps holding a push up position on BOSU ball…

These progressions take weeks for most people to get through if not 2 months or more at times!

Where would you put standing on a stability ball? Even better using your adductors like vice grips to stand on a stability ball? If we use the system I shared above, that would be more like letter “T” or so…

I might not have been much help today, perhaps just more of a rant, but take your time and progress your clients/athletes/yourselves slowly…ask your self, what will happen if they/I do an exercise with poor form for 20 years? Will my cartilage or disks be better off? or worse off? If you are not sure, then ask a corrective exercise specialist for an integrated assessment and an individualized program to help you out.

Thanks for reading!

Eric Beard
Athletic Performance Enhancement Specialist
Corrective Exercise Specialist

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