From power and strength to body control and balance, core training should be the start of all training exercises. The movements performed in our core area are as follows: hip extension, hip flexion, abdominal flexion, back extension, torso rotation, lateral extension and flexion, hip adduction and hip abduction. Our goal as a trainer is to keep our athletes playing. Core muscles act as shock absorbers for jumps, blocks, hits, etc. A strong core will reduce the risk of injury by training our muscle groups in corrective movement patterns. 

The cores main purpose is to allow for balance and stability, to safely absorb and transfer force/energy to the extremities and throughout the body. The transfer of force/energy affords the athlete the ability to generate additional power with various athletic activities. Regardless of your sport the core is critical for success. 

An athlete is only as strong as his/her weakest link. If an athlete lacks core strength or flexibility he/she will have little chance of maximizing his/her athletic potential. Below is a list of some core performance exercise. These exercises should be challenging and should be performed to the best of your ability.  

> Planks – Get in the pushup position, only put your forearms on the ground instead of your hands. Your elbows should line up directly underneath your shoulders and toes on the ground. Squeeze your glutes and tighten your abdominals. Keep a neutral neck and spine. Create a straight, strong line from head to toe. Hold that position.

> Russian Twist – Sit down with your butt on an exercise mat. Grab a medicine ball and hold with both hands. Hold your feet a few inches off the ground with your knees slightly bent. Begin exercise by leaning back slightly to where you have to hold yourself up with your abs. Next, twist your torso and bring the medicine ball to your left side and briefly touch the ground with the ball. Next, twist to the right side and touch the ground with the medicine ball. Repeat back and forth for the desired reps.

> Supermans – Lay face down on a mat or flat surface, with arms outstretched. Keep your hands and arms straight throughout the exercise. Raise your hand and legs 4-5 inches off the ground. Hold for 5 seconds, and then return to starting position.

> Med Ball Slams – Starting stance begins with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend knees slightly to allow free range of motion with your hips. Extend the ball above your head. You can begin with the ball at face height or your arms extended fully above your head. Throw the ball a couple feet in front of you and prepare to catch the ball on the way up. Be careful not to lean over your throw in case the ball bounces back into your face. Continue to this action as long as you prefer.

> V ups – Lie face-up on the floor with your legs and arms straight. Hold your arms straight above the top of your head. In one movement, simultaneously lift your torso and legs as if you’re trying to touch your toes. Lower your body down to the starting position.

Tony Falce has been a trainer for over 20 years. His passion and respect to his craft is second to none. As a Coconut Creek resident, he has programs designed for helping athletes develop speed, agility, balance and strength. 

For more information, please visit www.estlv.com or Twitter/Instagram @BigTFalce. You can also call at 702.290.7900.