Today we tell you the importance of strengthening your core or core area for performance and injury prevention in triathlon.
Core is an English term meaning center or nucleus, and as its name suggests, is the nerve center of our musculoskeletal system, responsible for generating and transferring forces and stabilize the body during our movements.
It can be defined as a muscular box formed by the abdominals in the front, paravertebral y buttocks in the back, the diaphragm at the top and the pelvic floor as well as the pelvic musculature on the bottom. If we go into the detail of what are the muscles that "the muscular box" contains, we would find 29 muscle pairs which help to stabilize the spine, pelvis and the kinematic chain during movement.
In the following images you can see the main muscles to which we refer:
Source: Google images
How will it help me strengthen these muscles?
You can find many answers, but we summarize the main functions performed by the muscles of the core:
- Improvement of stability and balance, both the trunk and the pelvis
- Improves economy of effort, less energy expenditure in the same movement
- Decrease the probability of injury, strong muscles protect our joints
- Decrease the probability of problems of pelvic floor (mainly in women)
- Decrease the probability of sciatica y lumbar problems (protrusions, hernias, etc.)
And if we have not yet convinced you of the great importance of the work of the musculature of core, let's see how it affects our sport:
- Swimming: maintenance of the horizontal position without excessive lumbar lordosis, hips and legs higher in the water (decreases the resistance to the advance), stability in the roll movement, protection in the hyperextensions of the column (visualize buoy).
- Cycling: protection of the lumbar and dorsal spine in the position on the bike, high demand in steep climbs (mainly of the lumbar area), shock absorption by uneven terrain (MTB), stability of the hip during pedaling (mainly in position of foot).
- Career: protection of the constant impact on the lumbar area, stabilization of the spine, erect position that provides greater amplitude and impulse in the stride.
If in any sport the importance of maintaining the strong core is very relevant, in the triathlon it rises to the cube, since in addition to the main functions of each of the disciplines, we perform rapid and explosive movements of position changes that demand from the central musculature.
So from now on, do not center the work of gym only on the muscles of the extremities and give importance to the work of your nerve center of the movement, it will be the one that helps you in all your sports gestures!
Akuthota V, Ferreiro A, Moore T, Fredericson M. Core stability exercise principles. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2008; 7 (1): 39-44.
Laura García Cervantes
Dra. Science of Physical Activity and Sport
Technical Director Club Trikatlón Tres Cantos
Triathlon and Swimming Senior Trainer
Paratriathlon Specialist Trainer