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Top Core Training Drills You Need!

upper body workouts

Jessica Bento, Physical Therapist (Co-Creator of DVRT Restoration, Shoulder & Pelvic Control Courses) 

I am sure you have felt it or even heard someone say, my hips feel out of place, something feels “stuck”. I can’t tell you how many of my patients would come to me saying that (another favorite is that they have leg length differences which is extremely rare in reality). Let me say when people feel these issues they may be feeling pain or discomfort, but the why is not usually accurate.  It is not really the hips being “out of place”, what you are feeling is discomfort in the SI joint and or low back area which feels like something is stuck or out of whack.

What tends to be going on is the pelvis is out of alignment which can occur for many reasons like sitting all day, moving the wrong way, training that is unbalanced or improper, attempting a new activity, general instability in that area or lack of core strength, this list really could go on and on. With it being out of alignment you could feel discomfort in that SI joint region, or one side of the low back. 

In the clinic I would spend so much time trying to fix my patients pelvic alignment with manual therapies like stretching, muscle energy techniques, manual manipulation, you name it, and once I had it perfect they would get up from the table and it would all but disappear. Was I just not a good manual therapist? That thought crept through my head but if that was the case then they wouldn’t have seen their issues when they were on the table or first hopping off. What took me years to really understand is that a more active approach to therapy tends to have better long term effects. My passive work couldn’t solidify the changes because we didn’t make the necessary neurological changes in how the body controls itself.

So what are we really talking about when we say pelvic stability, this definition seems to sum it up quite nicely, “Pelvic stability refers to the ability of coordinated activity between the lower trunk and proximal hip muscles during functional balance and mobility tasks in which the pelvis serves the proximal dynamic stability as to allow for effective lower limb mobility [1]  

core training

It isn’t just a matter of training these muscles, but teaching them to work synergistically during movement that really matters. That is why again we aren’t looking for isolation of these muscles.

This goes back to what Josh and I talk about all the time, the concept of proximal stability for distal mobility, if our core is “turned on” it will allow for improved distal mobility. If we can get our core to turn on appropriately we can really allow for better function of pretty much everything. If we have that core stability it will allow for more distal mobility to occur, it will magically balance us out in a sense. 

Our tall kneeling Around the Worlds are a great example of these concepts. They can give us that reflexive stability because the movement has a lift/chop and a plank to it. However, if you try to use your biceps rather than pressing down and using your core, if you duck your head (which turns on the wrong trunk flexors), if you allow your heels to collapse inwards you miss the opportunity this drill has to making us better!

When we talk about ways to improve pelvic stability we cannot do so without talking about the core, and I am sure you might be tired of us talking about the core but it really is what sets the foundation for good moment. When you hear Josh and I talk about the core we aren’t just speaking of the transverse abdomens we are talking about A LOT of  different muscles and the connections those muscles make. 

core training

It doesn’t matter if we are teaching strength coaches, fitness pros, and great physical therapists like this group in Seattle. You can’t consciously “turn on” these muscles or teach them how to work in perfect concert. What makes a lot of what we do in DVRT core training that is so unique is we use load, movement, and intent of how we use the weight to teach these important core training principles. 

With this being said, we will focus on a lot of core training to help regain that pelvic stability, these might be movements you will need to perform regularly in order to maintain it depending on the nature of why you are experiencing issues, or it might fit perfectly into a warmup before you train. The key is to be intentional and often they aren’t the one’s that are going to get your heart rate spiking or anything like that. It doesn’t make these core training drills any less valuable, as a few reps done at a high level are far more effective in building good core training that just makes you tired!

People tend to really like our dead bug progressions as they offer us an opportunity to have people better understand what good core training means and the tools matter! I show why because of the cuing that is involved and how that helps us create better movement as cues like “use your core” are well intended but often not meaningful to our clients.

I find these do work amazingly prior to a workout to help set up a great foundation for my training. These are my top “go to” exercises for pelvic stability and getting the core to turn on.

Learn more about how we make people not only train hard, but also smart! Save 25% on our DVRT Online Education and Workouts HERE with code “save25” and use the same code to save on our best selling Ultimate Sandbags HERE

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