There is a dangerous assumption which you must not make as a CrossFit athlete if you want to improve your performance in the sport. The notion is that because you do core every day, you don’t need to isolate core work. When you skip core workouts, the chances are high that your overall capability will reduce and your susceptibility to injury will increase. The main reason behind this is that some specific muscles end up being overdeveloped at the expense of others.
Doing sit-ups at the tail end of your CrossFit workout is not sufficient to solve the problem. The fact is, your core musculature works in lots of directions to give you stability, strength, and power for every movement you undertake. Training all the core capabilities can armor you against potential catastrophic injuries. Below are some of the top core functions and exercises.
In CrossFit gyms, you will mostly hear about stability as one of the core functions. When undertaking weight-bearing exercises, you require core stability. Despite this, the anterior pelvic tilt is often overlooked, and this can lead to overarching of your lower back and thus making it difficult to engage the abdomen.
To avoid this, it is recommended you train hollow holds and rocks. When doing the hollow position, you should begin by lying flat on your back and press your lower back flat on the floor. Then, pull your hips by contracting your glutes and lower abdomen into posterior pelvic tilt as you lift your shoulders and feet off the floor.
There are lots of variations that come with compression. However, one of the favorites is leg raise variations. In its simplicity, core compression is done through bending at the hip as you gradually bring your legs towards the face. When doing the leg raise variations, hang on a bar and relax your shoulders. Then, lift your legs gradually towards your face. In the beginning, you may see limitations in mobility, but as you build your CrossFit endurance, you will be able to achieve a full range of motion.
There are lots of exercises you can exploit to train core rotation. Some of them include side plank twists, Russian twists, and twisting back extensions. One of the top rotation movements in CrossFit is called L-wiper. You start by hanging on a bar with your shoulders blocked and relaxed. Then, through controlled and purposeful movement, sweep your legs from zero degrees all the way to 180 degrees. Ensure your legs are straight and in a pike position.
This CrossFit exercise can help in strengthening and stretching your oblique muscle group. Getting into a side plank position while supporting yourself with your arm, bow your hip gradually towards the floor and then back up. While doing this exercise, you should maintain square shoulders, posterior pelvic tilt, hips and core tension.
In addition to the above, there are other exercises you can undertake for your core functions. The golden rule is to train your core as often as you can for relatively high volumes.
KUNAL JHAVERI | 21 Jun 17