I need more core!

Wednesday 04-25-2012 Strength: max clean 1x1x1

WOD:

For time: Run 400 meters 95 pound Thruster, 21 reps 21 Pull-ups Run 400 meters 95 pound Thruster, 15 reps 15 Pull-ups Run 400 meters 95 pound Thruster, 9 reps 9 Pull-ups from crossfit eastsac

Ab belt

One of the most overused terms in the fitness industry is "core."  Most seem to think it references simply your "abs" but it actually refers to the nearly 30 muscles that mary the pelvis and the spine thus supporting spinal stability.  In CrossFit, we perform "functional movements" moving from "core to extremity," thus if the core is weak it will not be capable of applying force effectively.  In lamen terms, if you're back rounds or your butt winks in a squat/deadlift/pullup/etc. you are being inefficient and therefore making your life harder/becoming weaker. Now you may not realize it, but you're actually doing a tremendous amount of "core work" simply going through the regularly programmed wods.  Though for the majority of you this amount of work will be plenty, if this is a particular weakness you might benefit from doing some assistance exercise geared towards creating a stronger midline.  I tend to think this is most affectively trained through holding a static position (like in a plank, hollow rock, or OHS) rather than crunching or bending.  If the "core" serves to stabilize your midline in a neutral position so that you can apply force through the extremities then forcing it to adapt to this type of demand seems sensible.  Those that argue situps are more demanding because they require you to flex and extend have clearly not stabilized a 300 pound barbell overhead or held a plank with 200 pounds of chains across the back.  It is rare that you will ask your body to move a load by crunching your abs down so why train them this way (and no, they will not look more defined if you strengthen them through crunching rather than stabilizing, so don't offend me by asking).  Consider adding some assistance exercises after your workout on occassion especially if you struggle staying tight through the spine on heavy lifts.