As an athlete, close to 75 percent of your body weight is distributed in your core region. A strong and stable core is crucial for reaching your full potential in terms of agility and speed.
If you're still not convinced, take a look at the movements required for your sport. In football, a player who possesses a more stable core is less likely to be knocked to the ground. In baseball, a strong core enables an efficient transfer of power from the legs to the bat for harder hits. In soccer, a player rotating off his or her plant leg can deliver a more powerful shot on goal. The list goes on and on. But the bottom line is this: core stability and strength play a vital role in contact sports and sports requiring quick changes of direction.
So what's the best way to completely activate and work your core? Below are the best exercises to efficiently get those muscles ready for next season.
Prone Stability Ball Front Planks - 3 sets of max time
Assume the plank position: elbows directly under shoulders, torso flat and knees off ground. Maintain position with feet on a stability ball for as long as possible without any change in position. When your form starts to falter, the set is done.
Supine Stability Ball Bridges - 3 x 10
Lay flat on back with heels raised on a stability ball. Contract gluteal muscles and raise hips off ground. Maintain this position for five seconds, then relax and let hips return to ground. Keep control of ball throughout the set.
Overhead Med Ball Slams - 3 x 10
Standing in an athletic stance, raise medicine ball overhead with arms as straight as possible. Initiate the downward movement of the medicine ball while keeping chest up and erect. Slam med ball down with force and allow for adequate room for bounce. Choose a medicine ball that will allow for a fluid and continuous motion.