Build Core Strength With Tactile Sensing | STACK

Joe Giandonato
- Joe Giandonato, MS, CSCS, is the head strength and conditioning coach at Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, Pa. He has authored numerous articles on a...

Build Core Strength With Tactile Sensing

April 6, 2013 | Joe Giandonato

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Athletes often have it all wrong when it comes to core training. They haphazardly dabble with a few Crunches, Sit-Ups, Side Bends and Oblique Twists and call it a day.
 Few realize that their core is comprised of an array of muscles that provide stability throughout a wide range of movements. (Try this core workout.)

The core muscles work in unison to transfer energy between the lower and upper body. Your core permits you to perform nearly every athletic skill, including running and jumping. (See Build your core like an MMA fighter.)

If your core is weak, it will lead to energy leaks, which limit the amount of force you can produce and put you at a higher risk for injury. In fact, core stability—especially in the lower spine—may help to prevent lower-body injury.

How to Train Your Core



The core should be trained using athletic movements that prepare the muscles for your sport. At Germantown Academy, we use a unique method known as Tactile Sensing to target core muscles. Tactile Sensing activates proprioceptors within a muscle, which influence movement and posture. When proprioceptors are 
activated, more motor units are recruited, eliciting a higher contraction force.

To do this, we perform basic movements with manual or banded resistance so our athletes can overcome perturbations or distraction forces. Athletes must maintain their position, keep their spines neutral and their hips and shoulders square throughout the exercises.

Plank to Push-Up with Banded Distraction


  • Loop a band around your torso and affix it to a power rack or other immovable object.
  • Assume plank position with your body in a straight line.
  • Crawl away from the attachment point to add tension.
  • Perform a Push-Up.
  • Lower to your elbows to return to start position.
  • Repeat for specified duration.

Sets/Duration: 3x30 seconds each side

Physioball Plank with Perturbation


  • Assume plank position with your elbows on a physioball.
  • Have a partner tap the ball gently to disrupt your position. The taps should be sudden and random.
  • Continue for specified duration.

Sets/Duration: 3x30 seconds

Heavy Ropes with Distraction


  • Loop a band around your torso and have a partner hold the opposite end to the side.
  • Assume an athletic stance.
  • Perform heavy-rope patterns while your partner randomly pulls on the band to attempt to disrupt your position.
  • Continue for specified duration.

Sets/Duration: 3x30 seconds

Find more ways to get a stronger core at STACK's core training page.

Topics: CORE
Joe Giandonato
- Joe Giandonato, MS, CSCS, is the head strength and conditioning coach at Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, Pa. He has authored numerous articles on a...