It was Irving’s love for Vale Tudo ("anything goes" style of martial arts) and strength training that triggered his fascination with the study of human movement. His training principle is to train movement, not muscles. "The human body is like a machine. Our body parts work together as an integrated unit. NEVER individually. Training muscles will detrain the body's natural way of functioning rather than improve strength."
Irving is a proud father and also a regular contributor of fitness articles to various magazines and publications. He also contributes to the health industry by giving lectures to student fitness professionals in Singapore.
Certified Personal Trainer with National Academy of Sports Medicine, *Optimum Performance Training Method (USA) (2011, 2009, 2006, 2004)
Certified Kettlebell Teacher Level 1 by International Kettlebell and Fitness Federation (USA) (2010)
Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) + Automated External Defibrillator by Singapore First Aid Training Centre (2009)
Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist (Advanced Specialization) by National Academy of Sports Medicine (USA) (2008)
Certified Fitness Trainer by International Sports Sciences Association (USA) (2007)
Certified in First Aid by Singapore Red Cross Society (Singapore) (2006, 2002)
Certified Personal Trainer with National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (USA) (2006)
Certified in Exercise and Pregnancy by Australian Graduate School of Health and Sport Science (AUS) (2006)
Certified Functional Training Specialist by National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (USA) (2006)
Continuing Education Credit for Functional Training with Institute of Human Performance (Boca Raton Florida) (2006)
Certified Personal Trainer with American Fitness Professionals and Associates (USA)(2002)
First, let’s define the word.
According to dictionary.com (Okay,so I’m cheap and use free online dictionaries): Core – the central, innermost, or most essential part of anything.
The body’s core consists of 29 muscles in the lumbo-pelvic-hip region. It’s not just your abs and lower back. It consists of 2 main parts. The inner and outer unit. What “most” people think of the core (your abs and lower back), is actually just PART of the outer unit. When fired up right, it creates stability in the body’s torso, enabling the the body to generate force, change direction of movement, distribute weight, etc.
Basically, it helps keep you stable while you move creating more power and efficiency in movement. Think of it this way, would you be able to hit a baseball further if you were standing on 2 legs? or 1? Why? Because on 2 legs, you are more stable. ok so we now have established that stability is necessary to generate power.
So what does the inner unit do? Okay, Imagine a snake. Would you hold it tight if you wanted to prevent it from wiggling about and biting you? or would you hold it loosely? Now if you held it tight, the body stays rigid and it makes it more difficult for the snake to wiggle. Now think of the snake as your spine, and the hands holding the snake as the muscles lining the spine. These muscles are your inner unit. Deep segmental muscles in the mid section. When they are activated, they create what we call hoop tension around the spinal column, keeping it stable.
And what about the outer unit? They are the ones that help us move as well as keep us stable. The rotary torso and obliques help us rotate, the glutes keep us stable and fires up when we take off for a sprint etc etc. So how does it all work together?
I’m going to keep this simple. I want you to picture a drawing of a pirate ship.
The pirate ship’s skull flag is your skull.
The mast is your spine
The ropes holding the mast up and keeping it upright is your inner unit.
The sail, the rudder and what not is your outer unit.
Together, these parts work as an integrated unit to help the ship move. Without the ropes or sail, the mast will collapse and the boat will not move. And with a sail alone, and no rudder etc, you can’t steer your ship. Get it?
Also note that a boat does not necessarily move straight. Like a human body, it moves in multi directions. Hence your “core workout” MUST be multi-planar.
Many people in the past used to think that they had to “draw in their belly button” or “suck it in”. The idea that they have is that this “practice” will activate the core. Ok, what about the glutes? Remember, the core is more than just the abdominal muscles.
“Imagine that I am gonna punch you in the belly.
All 220+ pounds of me.
I want you to BRACE yourself and please do not cr@p in your pants. BRACE “.
It really is as simple as that. It is not as scientific as many people make it out to be.
So the next time someone comes into the gym and tells you “I need to work my abs, because I need a stronger core”.
I hope you know the right thing to say.
See you in The PIT.
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