Myth Surrounding the Core

chukka wellness fitness for polo polo fitness Oct 29, 2021

Let's dive into the well known myth surrounding 'the core'. You are using your core predominantly when you are playing polo. If you don't have a strong core that could result in a sore back or tight hip flexors. 

This video explains what your core is and how to strengthen it. 

Transcript: Myth Surrounding the Core

So, why are we talking about all of that, please tell us a little bit more about this myth of the core and what we actually trying to achieve with that. You know, because I mean, if you think of the core, it's right around your body.

Where we all just, you know, try and crunch, and crunch, and crunch to have these nice abs to show all the chicks and that kind of thing. We are absolutely useless because we don't have a core.

Yes. Very true, and in polo, you were using it the whole time because you know, if you're riding off, if you're leaning off the horse, your core is there. And that's why so many people have such bad backs, because they have not got that strong core or they'll get very tight hip flexes because they're working over time, to try and support the whole core.

So, like you said, your core is this whole area here. It's not just those eight muscles that you can see whenever you've done God knows how many crunches. So, yeah. So, the difference is, so say your core versus sit-ups whatever. So, like I said earlier, that the core you want to use compound movements that simulate those movement patterns of polo. That's, what's going to be effective.

The sit-ups, they're just an isolation movement, that if you're, most people will yank themselves up as well, you'll see, they do a bit of a hip-hop and then they yank their neck and shoulders up. And last minute their tummy muscles go.

So, you're not actually engaging those core muscles, properly. They're also not working your internal core muscles, which are the ones that reduce well that give you that, that control and stability through the torso. And it also lengthening your back muscles as you come up. So, it's actually an awful exercise.

Anyway, the sit-up, you know, most trainers will just give it to their clients because it makes them feel good, because they're like, oh, I can feel my tummy muscles are working. But you're not engaging them properly.

So, you could do a million sit-ups, you may have some abs, but if you get in the, in the saddle and you're doing all of this, your abs aren't turning on, the core muscles aren't activated, because they're not strong.

There's different level layers to your tummy muscles. So, you want to be hitting the deep core ones, sorry, deep core muscles through the movement patterns.

So, you know, I'll get a client to do say a reverse lunge. And at the same time they rotate. So, you're working the lower body, the glutes, the legs, whilst engaging the core and doing more of a functional movement that simulates the twisting rotation in saddle. That's what's going to be more effective.

So, it all comes down to compound movements and functional movement specific to the movement, patterns of polo. So, Even if you're doing like I went. Because I was having, when I had a neck injury, but it transferred into my back and things.

And I went online to look at how to do sit ups in a more effective way. And the way that it was explained by one of the top back experts, lower back experts in the world.

He said, if you do those crunches, it's a little bit like a credit card. You've bend it often enough, you're going to break it. And he, his suggestion was to pick up one knee, put your hands in the small of your back to support it, get your shoulders off the ground, as if there was a scale there, and keep that scale at zero and do tiny movements like this.

He said that actually builds your core, your stomach, better than all these lunging sit-ups. Would you agree with that or not?

So, he was saying more of a crunch, like a smaller movement. So, little pick it up, take that, and you never let the scale weigh anything. So, you keep your shoulders off the ground and do just these little crunches like this.

So, your core stays under stress all the time. You're not kind of going back and letting it go and then up again, and then back, and letting it go, and up again, and destroying your lower back while you're doing it. Would that be something that makes sense or not? 

It's an isolated movement, it's not a compound movement. Yeah. I suppose there's more effective movements you can do.

There are more effective movements you can do, like there's compound ones. So, something like that, I would actually change to do more of like a toe tap where you're moving the legs up and downs. 

So, you're in the same position, with the body is here. The legs are up here and you're just tapping them away from you. So, you're lengthening. It's all about,

I think the most effective exercises are when you're lengthening the core, and not shortening it. So, with a crunch, if you're staying in the lengthened position.

So, just coming up with a little bit, but you're engaging the core properly. That's the difference is that most people will flare their tummy muscles when they do a crunch or a sit up. But it's all about bringing it in and imagining you have a corset around your tummy.

So, it's tight, you're engaging the right muscles, and then like a crunch like that would probably be more effective. And yes, if it's a smaller movement, you have more control over it and it's not stressing the back too much.

Then yes, I think it'd be fine. But I would say more something that would be more benefit to you, Gavin particularly, for that is an ab press.

We are not even moving anything. You're just engaging the core down and then releasing, engaging the core down. So, it's, there's no pressure on the lower back or the neck or shoulders. You're just lying down and you're just engaging and relaxing, engaging, relaxing.

And that's what I start all my sessions with, with my clients is that, you know, we don't just go straight into doing some crazy things that engage the core.

It's about warming it up, engaging the muscles, and once they're strong enough, then you take it to the next level, which in that case would be some toe taps. Then the next level would be like a cycling legs. Next level you bring a band in. You're doing more static stuff whilst moving the lower body.

I could go on and on with this. But it's all about, It's showing people out there that are listening to this, just how little we actually know about getting fit.

And that's the whole point and why I wanted to just chat to you today, just to wake people up there, out there, up. And say that so little we're doing correct, actually to prepare ourselves to play this great game.

And it's so doable. If you deal with somebody that really knows what they're talking about.


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