Ramona’s Trainer: ‘The Weakness of Your Powerhouse’

We are always hearing so much about the core and how you need to strengthen it and if you’re going to be in shape that you have to work the core. I totally agree with this, but there is a weak link in this even if your core is strong. The weak link is the mobility, stability, and flexibility of the muscles of the core and the ones adjacent to it.

I just started with a client this week and, despite many setbacks like coronary heart disease, shoulder surgery, and old hamstring tears, this gentleman wants to get back into the best shape of his life. He is excited and enthusiastic about the new changes we are implementing, and one of our focuses is the “core.”

With every new one-on-one client, I do what is called a functional movement screen. There are many different types out there and I, being a Titleist Performance Fitness Professional, use theirs for golfers and non-golfers. In this screen I am checking mobility, stability, range of motion, balance, and coordination. While interviewing and screening this client, I discovered a number of things:

•Desk job for 20 years

•Old hamstring tears both legs

•Lower back tightness and pain

Number one, we needed to address his limited range of motion and lower back issues. Being that he had a desk job for 20 years, he, like so many others, had extremely tight hips, gluteals, hamstrings, and calves, and weak upper back muscles and tight pectoral muscles.

As you can see from the picture (not my actual client), this is why these muscles are tight and or weak. If I’m guessing right, you have some of these same issues. We spend a lot of time sitting at a desk, in a car, and on the couch, all the while creating imbalances and dysfunction.

Before we can create a “Powerhouse” of a core, we must get the lumbo-pelvic hip complex back in proper function.

Let’s start from the ground up. We need to get those tight calves and hamstrings loosened up and we can do this by rolling any tight spots with a tennis ball. Now do some wall calf stretches and seated toe touches, holding each stretch for 30 seconds.

Let’s move on to the hip, specifically the front of the hip or hip flexors. These babies are tight and need to be rolled with the ball as well. You are going to lay facedown and place the tennis ball where your front pockets are and roll up and down and side to side over the tight spots. This might be a little painful. Next, get yourself in a half kneeling position, with one knee on the floor and the opposite foot flat on the floor like you’re in the bottom of a lunge. From here, I want you to press your weight forward, stretching into the hip of the down leg. You can also extend your arms overhead for a deeper stretch.

I have found over the years that these areas MUST be addressed before you can fire up that “Powerhouse” and get that strong core you’re looking for. This was a quick and dirty explanation of these movements, so please visit www.ramonastrainer.com for more info and this week’s Workout of the Week video and how you can get started on your path to you, only better!

I can be reached at the club at 760-789-3500.

Related posts:

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  2. Ramona’s Trainer: Why Your Workout Sucks
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  4. Ramona’s Trainer: Vacation Workout
  5. Ramona’s Trainer: Massage Face and Chronic Pain

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Posted by Karen Brainard on Mar 14 2012. Filed under Columnists, Columns, Ramona's Trainer. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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