The turning point of the functional method
There are numerous definitions of the concept of functional, some of which help us to understand how important this method of training is: as written in the book Functional Training for Sports by Michael Boyle, functional training means a series of exercises that teach athletes to manage their body weight on all levels of movement.
Functional training is a series of exercises that teach athletes how to manage their body weight on all levels of movement. Michael Boyle
- the globality of movement, which leads us to consider the body and not analytically allowing in this way a considerable activation of the central nervous system;
- the multiplanarity of movement;
- the concept of training the action of each muscle but also the function for which it has evolved over the years within its chain.
The role of the core in athletic performance
As we will see, thanks to its characteristics, the core plays a key role in athletic performance as it determines:
- stabilization of the trunk
- posture control
- mobility, allowing the body to move.
What is the core?
The muscles constituting this box have the task of stabilizing the column, the pelvis, and the kinetic chains during the movements. But let's see in detail what muscles this structure is composed of.
The stabilizing system includes the muscles located in the abdominal press: Rectus abdominis, external obliques, internal obliques, transverse of the abdomen, pelvic floor and diaphragm; dorsally we find the quadratus lumborum muscle, the multifidus, the lumbar spinal transverse and the erectors of the column.
The ability to control the position and movement of the trunk on the pelvis, thus allowing an excellent production, transfer, and control of forces and movement to the terminal segments in integration with the activities of the kinetic chains. All this features could be inproved with a good functional training and an effective core workout.
Core workout, the building block of functional training for sport
To support this concept a definition has been provided by Belli:
"The only certainty well defined is how instability is a training stimulus on which to base a philosophy of concrete work based on the training of movement, not of the individual muscle”.
Functional training to make the body functional
Initially, you must face stability exercises, preferring global movements or exercises with stable support bases and isometric activities (such as plank, side plank).
Enhancing core stability with core workout
It is for these reasons that a weak and unstable core would cause back pain problems to the athlete, not being effective in absorbing shocks, hence leading to poor performance. A good reason to start with functional training of the core.
Including core workout to strengthen your training routines and athletic preparations is a fundamental aspect to improve the functionality of your body and your performance, creating real specific functional training or identifying the right space within the programming.
- Boyle M., Advances in Functional Training. Training techniques for Coaches, Personal Trainers and Athletes. Aptos ( CA ), Target Pubblications, 2010.
- Boyle M., Functional Training for Sports. Champaign ( IL ), Human Kinetics, 2003.
- Kibler WB, et al. The Role of Core Stability in Athletic Function. Sports Med. 2006; 36(3):189-98.
- Wilson JD, et al. Core Stability and its reationship to lower extremity function and injury. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2005 Sep; 13(5):316-25.
- Willardson JM. Core stability training: applications to sports conditioning programs. J Strength Cond Res. 2007 Aug; 21(3):979-85.
- Belli G. Tesi di Dottorato: Valutazione chinesiologica della risposta muscolare indotta da una varietà di esercizi di core training. Bologna, 2010.