When it comes to strength and conditioning programs, core training has been an important component for the physically active, especially athletes. A strong and flexible core plays a crucial role in injury risk and function of the lower extremities.
As the powerhouse of your body, there are more muscles included than just your abdominal muscles. It also includes your chest, pelvis and some back muscles. The core stands as the centre of the functional kinetic chain. It is important in maintaining dynamic joint stability from the lumbar spine all the way to the foot.
Having a stable core allows you to better control the position and motion of your trunk over the hips and leg to allow optimum production, transfer and control of force and motion to the terminal segment in integrated kinetic chain activities. In other words, allows you to move smoothly.
What Do Studies Show About Core Optimisation and Lower Extremity Injuries?
In a systematic review by Darin Leetun et al, it was shown that athletes who did not sustain an injury were stronger in hip abduction and external rotation. The researchers concluded that core stability has an important role in injury prevention.
Eighty female and 60 male intercollegiate basketball and track athletes underwent testing on hip abduction and external rotation strength, abdominal muscle function and back extensor and quadrates lumborum endurance.
Core strength, core proprioception and neuromuscular control of the core were found to be a risk factor in the development of the lower extremity injuries.
The systematic review shows preliminary evidence for the link between impaired core stability and the development of lower extremity injuries in healthy athletes. Insufficiency in the aspects of core stability was seen as potential risk factors for lower extremity injuries. It is suggested that core stability needs to be considered when screening athletes.
In a 2015 study involving 30 male karate-ka elites, the participants had a history of 5 days in a week participating in karate-ka sport exercise with history of lower extremity injury in the past 2 years. Each athlete’s postural control, lumbopelvic stability and core stabilizer endurance were assessed.
Results show that core stability was related to lower extremity injuries in male karate athletes. The strongest link was from lumbopelvic stability and lower extremity injuries. It was concluded that core stability has an important role in lower extremity injuries and strengthening of core stabilizer muscles can help prevent injuries in karate athletes.
How to Improve Your Core
Including core exercises in training and preventative programmes is important to minimise injury risk and improve athletic performance. Many elite sports people do Reformer Pilates to help.
Attending a Reformer Pilates class can help develop good core strength, proprioception, and flexibility. Moreover, it’s important to apply the core exercises you learn from your session to your everyday activities.
Having a healthy core will improve your balance as well as the overall quality of your movements. This also means protecting yourself from injuries.
So if you are someone who often gets lower extremity injuries from playing sports, it’s best to get a regular session of Reformer Pilates in Perth to have a strong and flexible core. Book with us today on 9272 7359!
Wilkerson GB, Giles JL, Seibel DK. Prediction of Core and Lower Extremity Strains and Sprains in Collegiate Football Players: A Preliminary Study. Journal of Athletic Training. 2012;47(3):264-272.
Leetun DT, Ireland ML, Willson JD, Ballantyne BT, Davis IM. Core stability measures as risk factors for lower extremity injury in athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2004 Jun;36(6):926-34.
Kayvan Baban, MohamadFarhangian, Shahram Mohamadi, Farnood Mohamadi. The Relationship between the amounts of Core Stability and Lower Extremity Injuries in Male Karate-Ka Elites. International Journal of Sport Studies. Vol., 5 (6), 721-725, 2015