Core Body Training

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The Core Body -
Key to Stability & Balance

What is the Core Body?      
        In terms of anatomy, the core refers, to the body without the legs and arms. Functional movements are related to and dependent on the core. The lack of core development strength can result in a predisposition to injury. The major muscles of the core reside in the area of the belly and the mid and lower back (not the shoulders), and peripherally includes the hips, the shoulders, and the neck.

        One central concept applies to all sporting disciplines is the strength and control of the core body. The core is the key to stability & balance and is observable in the agility displayed by any successful athlete. All ice skaters must be in total control of their cord body (torso) to maximize their balance which allows the skating blade to perform the fundamental edges and turns.

       It is a basic tenant upon which each disciple of figure skating is based and evolved to the technical and performance levels expected in tests and competitions today.

Body Alignment
       The art of balancing on a thin figure skating blade is based on the science of physics. Being able to convert a pushing motion against the ice to achieve forward and backward gliding movements in a smooth, fluid motion is an art form.

       The actual process of skating requires a quick automatic muscle/nerve response to adjust body positions to compensate for changes that continuously occur.

       Changes of direction, on one foot or requring a transfer of feet, adds to the complexity of maintaining a skater's balance. Other elements such as figure skating jumps, spins, spread eagles, spirals, etc. increase a skater's need to establish and maintain their balance.

Misalignment of Core Body Positions

Error Correction
Skater hits toe picks. The skater is generally stiff and needs to bend their knees more.
Skater has incorrect body alignment over blade. When skating forward, the body weight should be over the middle to back of the blade.
Skater has head down. Have athlete adjust posture so that arms are held out at waist level, back is straight and head is level with eyes are looking forward.
Skater bends too far forward.  the glide, the skater must adjust their posture so that arms are held out at waist level, back is straight and head is level with eyes are looking forward.The skater must use their knees as a "shock absorer when stroking. During
Strengthening the Core body
      The core region of the body consists of more than the abdominal muscles. Strength training of the core body must target all the muscles groups that stabilize the spine and pelvis. These muscle groups play a vital role in sporting activities that require the transfer of energy from large to small body parts.

     There are three types of muscle groups of the core region of the body:
     The benefits of core strength training to the athlete include:
  • Inprovement of efficiency of movement,

  • Increased control and balance,

  • Increased power output from both the core musculature and peripheral muscles such as the shoulders, arms and legs,

  • Reduced risk of injury (the core muscles act as shock absorbers for jumps and rebounds etc.),

  • Enhanced balance and stability,

  • Improved athletic performance,

  • Reduced strain on back/spine cord,
  • Enhanced body movements such as extension, flexibility, and rotation of the trunk and spine.
      Athletes engaged in an intensive weight training program should ensure a balance exists between your lower back and other core muscles in relation to primary muscle groups in the chest and arms.

Recommended Reading:      
        The following articles provide an excellent summary of the concept of training and strengthening the core body as appropriate for specific sports that athletes participation in.

Core Body Training  The body's "core" actually consists of many different muscles that stabilize the spine and pelvis and run the entire length of the torso. These muscles stabilize the spine, pelvis and shoulder and provide a solid foundation for movement in the extremities. 

Core Body Stability  The muscles of the torso stabilize the spine and provide a solid foundation for movement in the extremities. These core muscles lie deep within the torso. They generally attach to the spine, pelvis and muscles that support the scapula.

When these muscles contract, we stabilize the spine, pelvis and shoulders and create a solid base of support. We are then able to generate powerful movements of the extremities.

Core Muscle Strength and Stability Test  Evaluate core body strength using the Core Muscle Strength and Stability Test is a way to  monitor the development and improvements of an athlete's core strength and endurance over time.


The Role of Core Stability in Athletic Function : Sports Medicine The importance of function of the central core of the body for stabilisation and force generation in all sports activities is being increasingly recognised.

The role of core stability in athletic function  Lexington Clinic Sports Medicine Center, Lexington, Kentucky 40504, USA. The importance of function of the central core of the body for stabilisation and force.

PDF Core Stability for Athletes   Importance of Core Stability for Sports Performance. The core of the body is a term used to refer to the trunk or more specifically the lumbopelvic region.
World Physique » The Athletic Core Muscles of the core have a vital role during athletic movements. They work together to produce and transfer force from one area of the body.

The role of core stability in athletic function The importance of function of the central core of the body for stabilisation and force generation in all sports activities is being increasingly recognised.

Physical and Mental Training Considerations


The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

Sports Information Sports Training
PDF  Off Ice Training Guides
PDF  USFS Stretching Training
PDF  Strength Training Exercises
PDF  Cool Down Exercises
PDF  Warm Up Exercises
PDF  Power Skating Classes
PDF  Core Body Training
PDF  Endurance Training Plan


All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

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