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Core/Stabilizer Garbage !

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  • Core/Stabilizer Garbage !

    Talk still persists of ' Working your core ' and activating those ' Stabilizer muscles '........has anyone actually sat and thought about exactly what these mysterious bodyparts are ?

    The ' Core ' is actually a collective consisting of primarily the rectus abdominus, transverse abdominals, obliques and the erector spinae...........just muscles, no magic corset.

    The mysterious ' Stabilizers '......basically any muscle can be a mover or a stabilizer, they just work opposite their antagonistic muscle and either allow or resist movement. There are no mysterious stabilizer muscles and no secret way of ' Activating ' them.

    As they are all just muscles they should be treated as such and worked using resistance to stimulate adaptaion. Doing arbitrary movements that just happen to require passive involvement of these muscles will as should be expected provide little in the way of results.

    Doing many of the so called ' Core movements ' is akin to doing front squats in the hope of building the triceps due to the fact that the triceps are involved in supporting the resistance statically during the squat !

    To work the core muscles look up their actual functions and then work them through their ideal range of motion using resistance just as you would any other bodypart.

    Hope that clears up a little of the mystery..........I'll now get ready for the insults from all those Bosu ball fanatics !

  • #2
    Well, the abdominals are primarily stabilizer muscles, while the tricep is clearly more suited to movement, but I agree that "core work" (other than heavy squats, deadlifts, and presses) is valuable gym time wasted. In related news, the ab wheel is still cool as balls.
    The Champagne of Beards

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    • #3
      In addition to heavy squats, deadlifts and presses, I think that pull-ups and push-ups are good core workouts.
      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
        In addition to heavy squats, deadlifts and presses, I think that pull-ups and push-ups are good core workouts.
        True fact, brah!
        The Champagne of Beards

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        • #5
          In related news, the ab wheel is still cool as balls.
          i so love the ab wheel. i refuse to do crunches as i fear britney spears syndrome so i ab wheel and do roman chair ab circles and also weighted good mornings. plus everything else where the abs stabilise LOL there was an interesting article by Nick Tumminello i ran across the other day about abs which is sorta relevant to this

          T NATION | Issue 631

          i did go to a gym that had a bosu ball once. i loved it. it was awesome fun. one legged bosu ball squats was what fixed my second from last ankle injury. horse for courses tho.

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          • #6
            The core actually consists of any muscle that's attached to the torso, which pretty much means every muscle that isn't part of the legs and arms. And it'd require a long list to name them all. I'd agree that it doesn't make sense to arbitrarily make up specific exercises to exercise the "core". That'd be vague at best.

            However, there are certain movements that involve certain muscles of the core that don't get worked in other movements and therefore should be done. For example, the serratus gets gets worked in overhead presses. And I noticed that since I never did those for a long time, my serratuss actually did get sore after a workout.

            Also, there are many movements that work many of the core muscles together as a whole. Because such exercises involve many muscles at once, they are more efficient time wise. They also build good strength. Squats, deadlifts, standing military presses, cleaning jerks, etc., are all good examples. The truth is if you are good/skilled at working all these muscles together, you will be better able to perform any of these movements with more weight and therefore you will be able to build bigger muscles. Of course you have to weigh out the benefits vs risk issues of the exercises. For example, I wouldn't want to do clean and jerks due to safety issues, unless I was competing in something that required it such as olympic lifting or strongman, but since safety is important to me, I don't do that.

            Having that said, I agree. If you think about it, everything I just wrote isn't even important to know. Why? Because as long as you know better to stick to the basics, you can't go wrong. And it doesn't take a genius to understand that. In the fitness industry, the gurus are always trying to make a bicycle into a rocket ship. It's not that complicated. Lift some heavy weights, stick to basics, work hard, eat real food, eat less food if you're fat, be consistent, and you shall have an incredible body. It really is that simple.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Ripped View Post
              The core actually consists of any muscle that's attached to the torso, which pretty much means every muscle that isn't part of the legs and arms. And it'd require a long list to name them all. I'd agree that it doesn't make sense to arbitrarily make up specific exercises to exercise the "core". That'd be vague at best.
              Is that what the hell "core" is supposed to mean? This is why Rip (and I) always says "abdominals" when referring to the rectus & transverse abdominus, oblique, and erector spinae muscles as a group.
              The Champagne of Beards

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              • #8
                you'll never get gnarly abz unless you do weighted, inverted, twisting, bicycle crunch-thrusts. losers

                on a more serious note, I do enjoy a good ab wheel roll-out every once in a while. and I don't mind doing some bird dogs and planked bird dogs every once in a while. they helped me to rehab my injured back

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by not on the rug View Post
                  you'll never get gnarly abz unless you do weighted, inverted, twisting, bicycle crunch-thrusts. losers

                  on a more serious note, I do enjoy a good ab wheel roll-out every once in a while. and I don't mind doing some bird dogs and planked bird dogs every once in a while. they helped me to rehab my injured back
                  Totally agree, I still like to do roll outs and occasional planks.

                  It's just as I mentioned in another thread though if you are doing planks for more than a minute then you should really think about adding resistance. As someone mentioned, the squat and deadlift could just as easily be described as ' Core ' movements but you wouldn't think about standing in the upper deadlift position for 3 minutes unless maybe working on your grip, it would make no sense.

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                  • #10
                    Aside from compound lifts, some of my favorite assistance exercises are

                    1.plank variation(side, plate switches, hand switches with pushups)

                    2.ab wheel and TRX fallouts(which are even harder)

                    3.deadbugs/birddogs

                    4. Get-ups

                    5.pallof press and anti-rotation chops

                    6. Iso holds(oblique, hollow)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
                      Is that what the hell "core" is supposed to mean? This is why Rip (and I) always says "abdominals" when referring to the rectus & transverse abdominus, oblique, and erector spinae muscles as a group.
                      Yes, sorry I forgot to include. Obviously the muscles of the face don't count either. Like I said, the term "core" is very vague at best. It's just about as meaningless as the word "cardio".

                      People use the term "cardio" for anything that makes you use your cardiovascular system, typically arbitrarily assigned to exercises such as running. But then if you're doing any sort of resistance training or anything related to strength training, it magically isn't cardio anymore.

                      Is "core" training any different? I think not. It's so vague, arbitrary, and unspecific, pretty much a useless term. However, it makes for a good article or book by a so called "expert". Yup, it helps make money.

                      That's how the health and fitness industry makes it's money. But teaching people nonsense and selling it with hyped up marketing. Usually the people who are marketing the products don't even know anything about what they are marketing.

                      How about that six pack short cut deal? Now their saying it's a chinese secret. LOL!!!
                      Last edited by Ripped; 10-18-2013, 09:13 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by not on the rug View Post
                        you'll never get gnarly abz unless you do weighted, inverted, twisting, bicycle crunch-thrusts. losers
                        You need the ab flex. It totally makes your abs strong by mashing something into them. You can even smash a block over your abs like on the infomercial.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ripped View Post
                          You need the ab flex. It totally makes your abs strong by mashing something into them. You can even smash a block over your abs like on the infomercial.
                          This is an interesting article on the subject of abs:LOWER ABS and the Loch Ness Monster | Doug Brignole - Exercise and Biomechanics

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by not on the rug View Post
                            on a more serious note, I do enjoy a good ab wheel roll-out every once in a while. and I don't mind doing some bird dogs and planked bird dogs every once in a while. they helped me to rehab my injured back
                            yep the bird dog and planked bird dog helped rehab my back once and I need to repeat this routine. And is why I asked in the Plank thread if any one had had success w/ variations on traditional version. Saying "core work" is just a shortcut phrase; most people don't keep anatomy books on their shelves like many of us do.

                            i've avoided situps for situps sake ever since reading how destabilizing overworked abs can be for the back. A former boyfriend who was a lifter had such a swayed lower back -- it did not seem right!

                            “you aren't what you eat - you are what you don't poop.” Wavy Gravy

                            Today I am Fillyjonk. Tommorow I will be Snufkin.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
                              Is that what the hell "core" is supposed to mean? This is why Rip (and I) always says "abdominals" when referring to the rectus & transverse abdominus, oblique, and erector spinae muscles as a group.
                              I call them Abdominables. Have you ever seen the abdominable snowman? He's HEUGE!!!

                              And my favorite abdominable exercise is hanging toes to bar. It makes the ladies swoon.

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