Although it doesn’t always receive the same attention as arms and legs, the core is one of the most important parts of the body. Regardless of what sport they play, every young athlete needs a strong core to succeed. In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, the “core” is just another name for your lower torso, which encompasses the abdominals, obliques, and back muscles. To help you make the most of your workout, Rocky Top Sports World has put together a convenient guide to core training.
The Importance of Core Training
What makes a strong core essential for athletic activity? Here are some of the core’s key functions:
- The core stabilizes the chest and pelvis as you move. It also determines a person’s posture.
- As the link between your lower and upper body, the core transfers power generated in your legs and hips up to your shoulders and arms. The core is an integral part of throwing.
- Actions that require lateral movements use the core. This includes hitting, running, and jumping.
Core Training Ideas for Kids
It’s never too early for children to start core training, as long as the exercises they’re doing are age appropriate. For elementary schoolers, the trick is finding workouts that are fun to do. Here are a few great core exercises that kids love:
- Walk like a crab on hands and feet.
- Play a game of tug of war.
- Walk along a “tightrope” (just an ordinary rope on the ground) while trying to balance a beanbag on your head.
- Imitate a dead bug by lying flat on your back and raising your right arm over your head and straightening your left leg. Then, switch to your left arm and right leg and continue to alternate.
- Walk with your hands while someone else holds your ankles, like a wheelbarrow.
Core Training Exercises for Older Kids and Teens
There are a number of excellent core training exercises that older kids and teens will benefit from. The great thing about core workouts is that they are not very time consuming, as many can be completed in five or ten minutes. Here are some of the best core exercises:
- Superman: Lie face down with your arms and legs outstretched, like a superhero in flight. Then, lift your legs and upper body from the floor without bending your neck.
- Crunches: Lie flat on your back with both knees bent, then lift your head and shoulders toward your knees. For an even better core workout, do your crunches while lying on an exercise ball.
- Cobra: Kneel on the floor and then slowly lean back while keeping your stomach tight and your torso straight. Then, slowly return to the start position.
- Plank: Get into a “push-up” position with your elbows on the floor. Then, lift your hips off the floor until your legs are in line with your upper body.
For more workouts and training strategies for young athletes, attend one of the youth sports camps at Rocky Top Sports World. Our camps offer instruction from coaches and athletes who have years of experience at the professional and collegiate level. To see all of the upcoming events at Rocky Top Sports World, check out our Tournaments & Camps Calendar!