Core Training for Sports Training

Dr. Mel Siff is one if not the greatest minds to have studied human performance.  Not only was he a scientist, he actually trained and I believe compete in Olympic Lifting.  Read that again.. a “thinker” who understands truly how the human body works by study and practice.

A repost in supertraining Yahoo

Here is an old post from Dr Mel C Siff:

Today, in the fitness and therapeutic world, one of the latest buzz terms is
“core stability” and courses are cropping up everywhere to teach this amazing
new discovery in the world of motor control. The implications are that an
athlete or normal human is somehow seriously deficient if core stability
exercises are not being done in some or other discrete, isolated fashion.

The belief here, of course, is that isolated core stabilising exercises
necessarily improve balance and postural control. They do not, since most
stabilisation and movement in sports where the hands and feet are in contact
with a surface also depends very strongly on PERIPHERAL contact with the
given surface (some exceptions are diving, airborne gymnastic and skating
manoeuvres, and trampolining.) If this contact is inefficient or unstable,
then no amount of core stabilisation is going to overcome any deficiency in
peripheral stability.

Some simple examples – imagine what would happen to a gymnast or trapeze
artist with poor ankle strength and stability or a huge weightlifter with
great core stability but deficiencies in grip or ankle strength and
stability? One could list a thousand similar examples.

This concept of a separate motor quality called “core stability” leads to the
very faulty belief that core stability is more important and more central to
overall stability than peripheral stability. The fact is that the body is a
linked system of many interacting components, and current “core
stabilisation” dogma happens to be yet another example of isolationist
training. To borrow a somewhat clichéd term from the vocabulary of the late
South African Prime Minister, General Jan Smuts (who coined the word
“holism”), it would be far better to talk about “holistic” stability
training. An emphasis on “core stability” is a step towards general
instability, unless it is matched by peripheral stabilisation.

Once upon a time we had kinaesthetic or proprioceptive training or even motor
skill training – now we have “core stability” training, which is by no means
an suitable modern substitute for what used to be offered. Possibly it is
time for the whole “core stabilisation” industry needs to carefully
re-examine itself and take a step back to its more solid older roots. “Core
stabilisation” may be a new term, but it offers little or nothing new to
fitness, therapy or sports training that was not covered perfectly well a
long time ago.

Jamie Carruthers
Wakefield, UK

From an email send by:

Cal Dietz

Strength Coach

University of Minnesota