What is core strength training?

A lot of track and field and cross country athletes want to know what core strength training is and why it is beneficial for them.  Core strength training refers to training that is intended to strengthen the trunk or midsection, which is made up of abdominal muscles, deep lateral stabilizing muscles, and the spinal extensor muscles. So basically any of the muscles from the chest/upper back through to the pelvic girdle.
Front Hand Stand Plank - Opposite Hand Opposite Foot 2

Increasing strength, endurance, and coordination in the core muscles are very important for most if not all movements involved in sports, or even just ordinary daily activities. The reason this is important is because forces are being transmitted between the lower and upper body and the surrounding core muscles help to support and stabilize the spine.   When an athlete is active, their movements involve several joints and muscle groups that are trying to perform some sort of muscle flexion, extension, or stabilization.

When an athlete plans on strengthening their core, they must challenge the muscles that stabilize their spine by doing exercises while standing, sitting, or lying down.  Total body exercises are a great way to increase core strength since they involve movements where forces are being transmitted from the lower and upper body.  A few examples of popular core strength training involve Olympic lifts, overhead squats, front squats, back squats, planks (front/back/sides), side bends, and hyperextensions.

Keep movements in control.

Perform movements within your limits.

Always use a spotter when necessary.

Maintain correct posture and stability in your core as you perform each exercise.