Improve Your Winter Sports Performance Through Core Stability
Core stability is at the centre of improving your winter sports performance. No matter what sport you participate for enjoyment or for competition, improving your ability to become better includes core stability.
The body’s core is often overlooked by many when they are trying to improve their skiing, skating, curling or any other winter sport they partake in. The central core of the body must be in great shape in order for us to be maximum for stabilization. Core stability for every one of us can be viewed as though it is a pillar; pillars are used as support for a building. In an active individual minimizing joint loads, regardless of the activity, is essential in helping to prevent injury and this is part of what core stability can provide.
Like any other part of our body, strengthening the core takes special exercises. These muscles are located deep inside. They include:
- The transversus abdominus is a very important core muscle. From the back it wraps around the torso, the top of the pelvis and attaches to the fascia pubic bone. It adds stability to the pelvis and lower back and compresses the abdominal area.
- The lumbar multifidus is on an angle from the sides to the tips of the vertebrae. Due to the angle, it helps with rotational stability. Many studies have shown that those with chronic lower back pain tend to have significant atrophy of the multifidus.
- The pelvic floor muscles connect the sacrum and pelvis to the pubic bone and these stabilize the bottom of the abdominal cavity. The pelvis floor, transversus abdominus and multifidus work together to stabilize the pelvis. The best way to strengthen the pelvic floor is by doing Kegel exercises.
- The transversospinalis muscles run from the sides of the vertebrae to the tips of the vertebrae. These muscles are also important for rotational stability.
- We have two oblique muscles and the internal oblique is the deeper of the two. It runs on an angle from the pelvis up to the ribs. In addition to helping stabilize the core, it also helps spine mobility.
All of the deep core muscles are very important for athletes and for all of us. When you perform movements (or exercises) that require the spine to be stable, you need these core muscles working well for you.
Those in martial arts have known for decades that well-developed inner core muscles are required in order to avert injuries and to produce powerful, balanced and solid movements effectively. When the core muscles are not in shape then core stability is not where it should be therefore athletic performance is not what it can be, strains are common, and susceptibility to injuries increases.
Regardless of it being a winter sport or any physical activity, developing core stability will also help with better posture, which is critical if you are active in winter sports (as well as for anyone). Better posture also leads to a better functioning respiratory system. Regardless of whether you are an athlete at the competitive level or an individual who just likes to participate in a winter activity once in a while, developing core stability leads to overall better health.
Simple At-Home Core Stability Exercises
Make a Bridge
Lay on the floor with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent. Squeeze your gluteals and push upward with your hip until your body makes a straight line from your knees to the upper body. Shoulders remain on the floor.
One Hand Flying
Kneel on the floor and put your hands (flat) below your shoulders and be sure that your knees are below your hips. Slowly extend the left leg back and the right arm forward as far as you can. Maintain that straight line as long as you are able, slowly bring back and then repeat with the opposite hand and leg.
Lay on your back with both knees bent. Tighten your abdominal muscles and slowly lift one leg straight into the air. Once as high as you are able, hold that position. Keep you knee slightly bent at all times. Slowly lower the leg then repeat with the opposite leg. Try lifting both legs at the same time as high as you are able, hold, and slowly lower.
These are some examples of how easy it is to start working on tightening your core muscles so you can improve core stability. Once you have improved your core stability you’ll notice a huge difference in your performance on the ice, on the ski slopes or anywhere else you enjoy sports.
If you need assistance or need some advice in strengthening your core muscles Chiro-Med Rehab Centre in Richmond Hill can help. Chiro-Med Rehab Centre has a convenient location and highly qualified health professionals to help you lessen your chances of injury. Visit Chiro Med online or call 905-918-0419 for more information.