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Understanding and Coaching the Anterior Core

Eric Cressey, MA, CSCS Founder/President Cressey Performance www.CresseyPerformance.com www.EricCressey.com

What is it?
Functional anatomy Not just your abs

Why Does It Matter?

Resists extension Resists rotation Returns one from a position of extension or rotation Impacts breathing Impacts upper and lower extremity function

Implications for Modern Injuries

Sports hernias Femoroacetabular impingement Hip labral tears Spondylolisthesis/Spondylolysis Thoracic Outlet Syndrome SLAP lesions Lat strains

Why can it be challenging to understand?

Not all spines are the same Some live in flexion Some live extension These deviations from normalcy dictate how that we have to coach the same exercises differently based on the individual. Example: anterior core activation/posterior pelvic tilt during flexion/internal rotation in those with anterior hip irritation

Anterior Core Progressions

Supine Positional Breathing Variations Dead Bugs w/Exhalation Back to Wall Shoulder Flexion Birddogs Prone Bridges Prone Bridge Arm March 1-leg Prone Bridge Prone Plate Switches

Anterior Core Progressions

Stability Ball Rollouts TRX Flutters TRX Fallouts Inchworms Seal Walks Ab Wheel Rollouts Slideboard Bodysaw

Anterior Core Progressions

Ground-to-Standing Transitions
Turkish Get-ups Kneeling Overhead Hold to Stand

Rip Trainer Overhead Lift Landmine Presses Overhead Presses Overhead Carries

External Obliques
Consider points of attachment as compared to rectus abdominus Posteriorly tilts pelvis w/out increasing kyphosis

Reverse Crunch
Progressions/Regression s Subtract/Add Load Heel Taps Reverse Crunch to Dead Bug

What About Tight Hip Flexors, Lats, etc.?

Stretching these areas provides a transient reduction in stiffness. Creating stability at adjacent joints is our goal. Weingroff: Get long, get strong, train hard. Daily postural modifications are key.

Making Anterior Core a Priority

Use warm-ups for positional breathing, dead bugs, back-to-wall shoulder flexion, inchworm, etc. Days 1 and 3 (lower body): rollout/fallout variations, overhead carries Days 2 and 4 (upper body): landmine or overhead press, rotary stability variation, then low-level motor control (e.g. prone bridge, reverse crunch)

Thank You!

ec@ericcressey.com EricCressey.com