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  1. #1
    Venison Warrior Footballa_19's Avatar
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    Thoughts on core complex importance

    As a NASM certified PT, I have a lot of my own theories on training my clients for full body health and functionality. My most basic thesis is that of controlling the core complex which I define as everything from the diaphragm (controlled breathing and intra abdominal pressure) to the bottom of the pelvic girdle and adductors. I achieve this by implementing core exercises that stress compound olympic lifts with neutral spine abdominal/lowerback movements and high intensity cardio. An example circuit would be deadlift to leg raises to stability ball glute bridges to 8 mins of cardio at 85% max HR. I stand by the idea that without a well defined core complex, a person will eventually plateau. I will also say a client will go through about a month of stabilization/neuromuscular efficiency training(flexibility, coordination, cardio) and olympic lifting technique before any of this is brought to the workout program. Just wondering if there are any other PTs out there practicing this theory and how it is working for them as well as any input as too its efficiency.
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  2. #2
    Registered User SFT's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Footballa_19 View Post
    As a NASM certified PT, I have a lot of my own theories on training my clients for full body health and functionality. My most basic thesis is that of controlling the core complex which I define as everything from the diaphragm (controlled breathing and intra abdominal pressure) to the bottom of the pelvic girdle and adductors. I achieve this by implementing core exercises that stress compound olympic lifts with neutral spine abdominal/lowerback movements and high intensity cardio. An example circuit would be deadlift to leg raises to stability ball glute bridges to 8 mins of cardio at 85% max HR. I stand by the idea that without a well defined core complex, a person will eventually plateau. I will also say a client will go through about a month of stabilization/neuromuscular efficiency training(flexibility, coordination, cardio) and olympic lifting technique before any of this is brought to the workout program. Just wondering if there are any other PTs out there practicing this theory and how it is working for them as well as any input as too its efficiency.
    According to your definition, the "core complex" encompasses a great deal of the musculature of the body. So, if a great deal of the muscles of their body don't become stronger, then depending on their goals, perhaps they might plateau. However, I do think that every other joint and muscle in the body is important as well.

    I also don't use olympic lifting with the majority of my clients. If they have an interest in it before they come to me, I can certainly teach them better technique than 90% of the people out there will use. However, I don't see the clean and jerk or the snatch as efficient means to improving someone's health who is in their 40s, 50s, or 60s. If most of your clients are athletes, perhaps you have a different opinion than me. Or if you are a Crossfit advocate, you also probably have a different opinion.
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  3. #3
    Venison Warrior Footballa_19's Avatar
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    SFT, you bring up a few very good points that I should have specified better. I agree with you 100% in that it isn't JUST the core complex of the body that should be the main focus. I would be very ignorant to admit so. I believe the whole body should be brought into a workout as well, with just as much emphasis put on the smaller more isolated muscle groups and joints. I also stress the large amount of muscles in the core complex only for the reason that most people hear "core" and think abdominals and erectors. Although I have an ex-athlete disposition, I try not to let it create a bias in my training when it comes to the olympic lifts. I am not a crossfit advocate by any means haha. I could understand your opinion on cleans and snatch, but what about deadlift and squats (when done within safe parameters)
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  4. #4
    Registered User rancid_theclash's Avatar
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    I totally agree with the adductors and pelvic girdle being part of the core complex, If they'res Imbalances/tightness there, it can definately affect the spine etc. due to the origins of those muscles.
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  5. #5
    Registered User SFT's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rancid_theclash View Post
    I totally agree with the adductors and pelvic girdle being part of the core complex, If they'res Imbalances/tightness there, it can definately affect the spine etc. due to the origins of those muscles.
    I would suppose that if we add the adductors because they can affect the spine, we would also have to consider adding the muscles that cross the ankle joint.

    SFT, you bring up a few very good points that I should have specified better. I agree with you 100% in that it isn't JUST the core complex of the body that should be the main focus. I would be very ignorant to admit so. I believe the whole body should be brought into a workout as well, with just as much emphasis put on the smaller more isolated muscle groups and joints. I also stress the large amount of muscles in the core complex only for the reason that most people hear "core" and think abdominals and erectors. Although I have an ex-athlete disposition, I try not to let it create a bias in my training when it comes to the olympic lifts. I am not a crossfit advocate by any means haha. I could understand your opinion on cleans and snatch, but what about deadlift and squats (when done within safe parameters)
    I like deadlifts, squats, and their variations for most clients. I don't have every client do barbell variations of either. I prefer goblet squats or deadlifts to start. At some point these exercise become increasingly more difficult to load.

    I don't consider squats or deadlifts to be associated with olympic lifting. I would suppose that people have been doing movements such as these for long before anyone knew what a barbell was.
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  6. #6
    Registered User rancid_theclash's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SFT View Post
    I would suppose that if we add the adductors because they can affect the spine, we would also have to consider adding the muscles that cross the ankle joint.



    I like deadlifts, squats, and their variations for most clients. I don't have every client do barbell variations of either. I prefer goblet squats or deadlifts to start. At some point these exercise become increasingly more difficult to load.

    I don't consider squats or deadlifts to be associated with olympic lifting. I would suppose that people have been doing movements such as these for long before anyone knew what a barbell was.
    I don't think they'res muscles that originate from the pelvis/spinal region that cross the ankle joint. The longest muscle in the human body is the Sartorius and its origin is the anterior superior iliac spine and its insertion point is the tibia, therefore it does not cross the ankle joint, and if that muscle doesn't not cross the ankle joint , no other muscle originating from the pelvis/spine can, since no muscle is longer than the sartorius.
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  7. #7
    Registered User SFT's Avatar
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    The meaning of my post was misunderstood. The adductors don't insert to the spine, but they do the pelvis as you mentioned. They can affect the alignment of the spine as a result. No muscles that cross the ankle attach to the pelvis, but the alignment of the ankle can affect the alignment of the pelvis, which can affect the alignment of the spine.

    My only point was that everything is interconnected.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    If you do planks correctly everything from the shoulders to the toes get worked.
    Dont do them on a stability ball because its hard to create full body tension doing them that way.
    Almost anyone can get into the elbow plank position and hold it.
    When you add tension,thinking pulling elbows to toes like a crunch,pull pelvis toward belly button,tightening up everything from lats,abs,squeeze glutes and quads you create a tough plank that few can get a minute on.Breath through the sheild short small breaths.
    Most start shaking after a short period if they are applying adequate tension.
    Make them harder by raising one arm or leg or both.Also do side planks when client gets stronger.
    JMO i would make sure the core is strong enough before doing any type of olympic lifting.
    I would break down the oly lifts to exercises like front squats,overhead press/push presses,hang cleans and maybe overhead squats depending on their ability and condition.
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  9. #9
    community gym PT KyleAaron's Avatar
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    You're overthinking things. The body is one piece.

    Forget about the Olympic lifts for 90% of your clients. Most people will be unable to do an unweighted below-parallel squat with decent technique when they first come in. Almost all will be unable to maintain full shoulder flexion while in the bottom of a squat, remember that they typically present with increased thoracic kyphosis and internally rotated shoulders. Your typical deconditioned beginner in their 30s with a desk job can do the below.

    Unweighted goblet squat, 15 reps
    plank, 20"
    bat wings - prone supported rows with 5kg dumbbells, 5 reps
    hip hinge with 10kg dumbbell, 10 reps
    farmer's walk with pair of 15kg dumbbells, 50 metres
    foam roll thoracic spine, 1'00"

    3-4 rounds of this will be a challenging workout for 90% of the people on day one of their training with you.

    Of course you can progress them over time. When they can do 20 goblet squats, they can do them with a dumbbell. When they can do 20 with 10kg, they can do a barbell back squat with the empty bar. And so on. Begin with the basics, progress the technical difficulty. Maybe 6-12 months later they can do a barbell snatch.
    Elite coaching is about getting the last 5% out of a person's performance, personal training is about getting the first 50%.

    athleticclubeast.com.au
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  10. #10
    Registered User rancid_theclash's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SFT View Post
    The meaning of my post was misunderstood. The adductors don't insert to the spine, but they do the pelvis as you mentioned. They can affect the alignment of the spine as a result. No muscles that cross the ankle attach to the pelvis, but the alignment of the ankle can affect the alignment of the pelvis, which can affect the alignment of the spine.

    My only point was that everything is interconnected.
    yep, for sure!! haha I was more or less "elaborating" on your post so the OP wouldn't misunderstand, haha cheers , reps
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