My placement of core training within the workout for many years didn’t take precedent until speaking with one of my coaching mentors Ian King. He explained to me how doing core training before the workout would help my athletes sprint faster. At first I was slow to adopt this principle because as an athlete myself, I always did core training at the end of my workout. And as a coach, I just followed suit. But after speaking with Ian I realized a potential opportunity and have dived more into the subject. After the first couple of months implementing this strategy with my athletes, I was shocked to see the immediate impact that it had in our training regiment and we haven’t looked back since.
I now have all of my athletes train their core at the beginning of their workout. Hitting the core before a training session is beneficial in three ways. It allows us to maximize an athlete’s training potential during speed work, serves as part of the warm-up helping raise core temperature, and also checks off an important component of training early in the session.
For starters most athletes live in an anterior pelvic tilt, where their hips are constantly driven forward. Picture your hips like a bucket with water inside of it. Those with an anterior pelvic tilt are tipping the bucket forward and spilling water out. The angle of the hips is pointing down and there are a variety of reasons why that can be the case. With your hips pointing down, your knee won’t be able to get as high and drive your leg when you run. This is going to take away the power and force we can put into the ground with each step.
If I can get my hip position level or at least greater than it was, I can drive my knee from a higher position and will be able to produce more force into the ground. After our Soft Tissue and Stretching work, we can further address this issue with our core training. Training the core allows us to drive the hips up and activate the abdominal wall, which will also give lead to a more neutral pelvic position.
Not only does it help with hip position, but it’s just important in a general sense of strength. A strong core is important for athletes in any sport. Most athletes hate core training and are not going to do it with any real effort at the end of the workout because they are already exhausted and just want to get it over with. By placing it in the beginning, we are able to check off one of the most important aspects of our training regimen when the athlete is in a fresher mindset. It will also be a continuation of the warm-up, which will help raise the athlete’s core temperature and prime them for the day’s session.
Training the core is crucial for the development of any athlete and by placing it at the start of the workout we are able to get the most bang for our buck. This will help improve all phases of athletic performance and help them get the most out of their workouts.