Why use core training?
Core training is a great way to help you maintain your power in the boat, ensuring that the power generated in your legs and glutes is transmitted through your core to the oar. The core muscles we are talking about are the deep core muscles (the ones that stop you weeing if you are a girl, or pull your balls up if you are a boy). Doing this while doing the exercises helps improve the core more.
This is a brief guide to useful exercises, with a basic routine being three circuits of these exercises, increasing your reps/time on each.
As with any training, we advise getting professional advice and stopping if there are any issues or twinges.
For the deep core:
Plank – with elbows on floor, straight back and legs and supported on toes, lift hips off floor and fold for as long as possible, increasing the hold over time.
Ball roll – lie on your back, legs bent at 90 degrees, with feet on ball. Lift hips so you are supported by your shoulders and your feet, and then straighten legs so that the ball rolls away from you. Then roll ball back in, keeping hips in air. Repeat. Also great for thighs. Can be done on one leg when you’re really strong.
The V – sitting on the floor, lean back with neck long and shoulders back, and raise straight legs, until your body is in a V shape. Arms should be held at 90 degrees to the floor. Raise and lower the arms by an inch, building up to 100 times, while maintaining this posture.
For the abdomen:
Sit ups – whether curls, straight sit ups, or lateral sit us (reaching elbow to opposite knee) combinations of sit ups are ideal to build abdomens.
Sit ups with weights – using a medicine ball or other weight clasped to chest, sit ups as normal.
For the lower back:
Back raises – if lying face down either on a bench with top half of body hanging over towards floor, or with feet wedged against wall and hips on an exercise ball, and arms up and hands near ears. Lean down as far as is comfortable, and then raise the top half of your body from your waist, until your body is straight or slightly bent backwards – lower gently and repeat. This can also be done on the floor (though this is less of a range of movement).