By Daniel Joyce
How does one become a better athlete? Millions of athletes, both seasoned pros and rising high school stars, ask themselves this every off-season. Many sports analysts talk about champion athletes and their work ethic. Well, what are they working on?
That can vary greatly from sport to sport. If you’re a young basketball player, you may want to shoot 100 jump shots after practice every day. If you’re a golfer, you may want to meticulously craft your swing every day. Each sport is different and requires different skill sets.
However, no matter what your sport is, improving your overall fitness will make you a better athlete. Improving your core strength and working on your mobility will not only make you a better athlete, but will help you prevent injury. You see many athletes defying their age and playing beyond their years. There is a reason Carson Palmer, at age 35, was able to come back from his second ACL tear and have an MVP-like season. His rehab process was full of both core and strength exercises.
Most athletes hate core. It’s painful, boring, and doesn’t seem to have anything to do with your sport. Core is more than just wailing on your abs. That is why you need to think of it as more than just working on your abdominal muscles. If you take anything away from the above article it should be this: “He then puts the QB through exercises that challenge his balance and his ability to rotate at the hips.”
Working your hips and lower back will help stabilize you and improve your balance. It may not give you the six-pack abs you want come summertime, but it will keep you out of the trainer’s room.
One great core exercise to try out is the plank.
It’s easy to do, but hard to hold! This is a great exercise for all athletes. Once you get the hang of it, there are many variations you can add to improve your balance and stability.
Once you’ve mastered that, there are many other great core exercises to help your strength and mobility. Check this link out and have fun. Notice number one!