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Sports efficiency and safety with core strengthening

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Core strengthening is vital for improved athletic performance. If you're throwing a football or baseball, kicking a soccer ball, swinging a bat or winding up for a slap shot, you need a strong core.sports training through core strengthening

Most of the movements performed in sports are multi-directional.  To move efficiently and exert more power, it's important to train the core with dynamic multi-directional exercises. With increased core strength, the athlete (or the weekend warrior) has greater balance and control during athletic movements. A stronger core can also prevent injury.

Many athletes experience pain and injury from overused limbs. Hyperextension and excessive rotation in the shoulder are common overuse injuries.  Running and kicking in soccer can cause hip injuries. A strong core prevents less stress on the limbs because much of the exertion is coming from the core and not the limbs.

Improving performance by strengthening the core 

In physical therapy, we create dynamic exercises that challenge the athlete's balance and strengthens his/her core. That stronger core prevents the athlete from over exerting his or her limb muscles to produce a given amount of power, so the muscles are less likely to be injured during training. One example of core strengthening involves the Bosu ball, which provides a flat surface to stand on but a curved bottom for balancing. The athlete or weekend warrior is given stabilization exercises to the shoulder and hip girdles while attempting movement in a sports related fashion.

Contributed by Nancy K. Whelan, RPT, PA @ The West Palm Beach Physical Therapy Center

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