Training Tip From Mandon Welch MSPT, PT

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Whether skiing the backcountry, dodging jagged rocks, riding singletrack or trail running over slick roots, a strong and powerful core provide the foundation necessary to maximize your potential.  I like to compare a lack of core stability with firing a cannon from a canoe.  Sure, the cannon is a powerful weapon, but it’s largely useless unless fired from a stable platform.  Attempting to use your arms and legs with insufficient core strength is a very inefficient way for you to tackle the outdoor activities you love.

There have been many innovative “core” exercises introduced over the past decade, as core strength has become a buzzword.  However, the old standby, SIDE PLANK, provides a great deal of bang for your buck.  Substantial amounts of research have concluded that the static side plank, performed correctly, maximizes the recruitment of our spinal stabilizer musculature (transverse abdominals, multifidi, internal obliques).

Additionally, progressions bring into play our lateral glutes, scapular stabilizers and even ankle stabilizers.  See below a series of static side planks.  Aim to do 3 sets of 30-45 seconds of the basic side plank 3-4 times per week.  As you master this, move on to the next progression and finally, when you’re ready, take on the final progression.  Focus on perfect form and do shorter durations until you’re ready to move up.  This foundational exercise is a great way to optimize your potential in the outdoors and keep you strong and healthy.  Visit our website or Instagram page to learn additional core stability exercises.

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