A simple, but effective, workout to build core strength

Core Training (Part 1):  A 6-Pack of Functional Strength


Having ripped-up six-pack abs should not only be for show, but also functional to perform in sports.  Core training is not only focused on the abs, but it’s the complete area surrounding the abs, obliques, lower back, hips and glutes.  It is this region that will transfer power from the legs to the upper body in order to generate the appropriate power to perform that homerun swing or allow you to drive through your opponent when running through the crowd into the end zone.  The core will also help minimize lower back injuries by stabilizing the spine and creating a natural internal brace.

Performing a thousand crunches before bed does not suffice for the development of a strong functional core, and neither does performing three sets of ab work at the end of a workout.  Like any other muscle group, the core must be trained in itself, allowing focus to the weak links.  That means at least one day a week should be dedicated to training the core until a foundation of functional strength is achieved.

In this installment (part 1 of 2) we will focus on the linear aspect of the trunk (torso flexion and extension).  This core workout is one of two workouts that is designed to be split between Wednesday and Saturday, and the length of this workout should not take you longer than 40 minutes.


Sample Wednesday Workout:


A1)  Hanging Garhammer Raises

            -keep arms straight, knees start at 90 degree flexed at hip, pull knees to chest

A2)  Paused Feet Elevated Crunches

            -heels on bench, fingers behind ears, crunch to touch elbows to knees

A3)  Single Floor Glut-ham Bridge

            -raise hips up as high as possible, knees/hips/shoulders in line, drive through heels

B1)  Prone Plank Alternating Arm & Leg Raise

            -raise opposite arm/leg, forearms on ground, keep hips level to floor

B2)  V-up

            -raise torso completely off floor, touch toes at top, heels never touch floor

B3)  Static Back Extension Superman Off Bench

            -arms stretched out in V, raise shoulders 2” above hips, head neutral

C)  D.C. Specials

            -keep low back flat on bench, perform wave; circle right-circle left-end wave


Note:  The above exercises should be performed as follows according to their designated exercises order:

Order               Sets            Reps                 Tempo              Rest

A1                    3            12-15                2-1-2-1             10s

A2                    3            12-15                2-0-2-2             60s

A3                    3            8-10                  2-0-1-8             60s

B1                    3            8-10                  2-1-2-3             10s

B2                    3            12-15                2-0-2-0             60s

B3                    3            12-15                2-0-2-2             60s

C                      3            10                     2-0-2-0             60s



Our next installment will introduce the Saturday workout and will incorporate the rotational component of the core function.

What Did Your Team Do This Summer?

By Valerie Derda | Published Yesterday | Basketball (Girls) | Unrated
The girls varsity basketball team at Notre Dame High School spent a little time in the cool climes of Flagstaff this summer, attending Team Camp at Northern Arizona University.

Last year the Lady Saints attended Team Camp at University of Arizona, where they stayed in the college dorms and lived the life of a college student for three days.  That option wasn’t available at NAU, so it was a Super 8 hotel that became home for the June 9-12 weekend  – but the girls felt it was a good trade-off because temperatures were almost 30 degrees cooler!

Pictured here: Kelsie Sanborn, Maddie Williams, Meagan Pagels, Kate Murphy, Megan Wells, Shea Fanelli, Emily O’Neil, Aleksa Krolls, Maggie Smith, Sammi Stolper, and Anna Hughes.

High school teams throughout the state, boys and girls squads alike, make the most of every summer in preparation for a new season in 2008/2009. Did your team do something a little different and interesting this year?  If so, we’d be interested in hearing about it.  Drop us a note and we’ll share it with our visitors.