Page 2 of 4

Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:18 pm
by Jungledoc
Stephen Johnson wrote:
hoosegow wrote: I think "working the core" is a piggy back myth to the spot reduction myth.
I wouldn't go that far, but "working the core" in my gym means exercises on stability balls and unstable platforms. How doing those things helps someone in activities outside the gym remains a mystery to me.
But so often people are "working the core" in an effort to spot-reduce. I'd bet that most people who believe in spot reducing also believe in crunches and sit-ups. Crunches on stability balls and rocker platforms is just a step up from doing them on the floor.

I think that's one of Hoosegow's ludicrous opinions that has some truth! :lol:

Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:46 pm
by hoosegow
Careful Rouse. I'm on the verge of learning something, but I'm not quite sure what it is just yet. Me actually being able to learn something is scary.

I'm not trying to punch holes in your point. I'm trying to get you to punch them in mine by showing what I think are flaws (and it is very possible that I am wrong) in your arguement.

You ask about the plane of movement, specifically frontal and traverse (forwards and backward for me). As you squat down, the natural tendency is for you to fall forward with a lot of weight. You essentially have to tighten your core to keep this from occurring. I have found that you have to have a very strong core to squat without getting hurt, as you alluded to.

As for watching me squat, I guarantee you will find problems so no disrespect taken. Hell, my lamentation of my squat form can be found on this web site ( http://www.exrx.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5441 ). My squat form has been tweaked no less than 4 times in the last 1.5 years, usually do to some micro-injuries, knee problems, hip problems, lower back tightening up, etc. Additionally, I have added several exercises to my regime to help me with my weaknesses. One of the things that has been helpful to me, especially with my lower back, is for me to go up in weight. If I feel that I am falling forward or my back starts tightening up, I go back down in weight and start hammering front squats (and recently picked up zercher squats). This strengthens my core to the point that when I go back up in weight I have no problems. Same thing with my hips. I have problems with those, drop the weight and hit box squats and one legged leg presses real hard.

Maybe that is a sidebar to my point, but I put a lot of effort in my core when I am squatting. I have to in order to prevent injuries.

And agreed, most people who come to the gym compensate. Most people have terrible form. Most guys sacrifice form for their ego.

I am a firm believer (and a lot of ifs are coming up) that if you squat correctly and if you are lifting heavy for you, then you are getting a hell of a core workout. Heck, I've even felt that I had done a 1000 sit ups after heavy benching.

I just can't picture, in my mind, how heavy lifting (especially squats) does not work the core sufficiently after looking at the videos and trying to understand what you are saying. Admittedly my knowledge base is at a lot lower level. I have nothing against specific arm or core work. In fact I do arm work quite often when I have an extra day, bored and don't want to go home after work. It isn't because I believe it is necessary, I just enjoy being in the gym.

To end my long winded answer to what plane of movement is loaded, in my mind I see and picture all planes (left, right, forward, backwards and all points in between) but especially forward and reverse. I'm sorry if you are getting frustrated with me. You probably feel like you are playing poker with a 5 year old. I would love to be convinced that if I do ABC of core work, then my squat numbers would go up. While you are at it, I beg for one thing that will make my bench numbers go up as well.

Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:08 pm
by Stephen Johnson
Jungledoc wrote:But so often people are "working the core" in an effort to spot-reduce. I'd bet that most people who believe in spot reducing also believe in crunches and sit-ups. Crunches on stability balls and rocker platforms is just a step up from doing them on the floor.

I think that's one of Hoosegow's ludicrous opinions that has some truth! :lol:
I see more waifish model types doing the "core" workouts on the above apparatus than plumpers in my gym, but you have a point. Or rather, Hoosegow has a point. :wink:

Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:48 pm
by Peter Rouse
ok where to start????

First - transverse plane think rotation (or anti-rotation), frontal plane think side to side. Squats and deadlifts provide loading only on the "back and forward" plane and then it mostly posterior loading.

Can I ask one question - are you powerlifting? Do you compete?

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:24 am
by Jungledoc
hoosegow wrote:You ask about the plane of movement, specifically frontal and traverse (forwards and backward for me)....
Here is my attempt to explain the planes, and the movements that relate to them:

Look here for illustration.

Frontal (also called coronal) is a plane that is parallel to the long axis of the body (and therefor is vertical) and divides the body into ventral (front) and dorsal (back) portions. A frontal-plane movement is one in which you remain in the frontal plane, so it's a side-leaning or bending movement, such as a side-pull, or a suit-case DL. We don't do that very much in real life, but ability to resist movement in the frontal plane is important for stability, as in lifting a load that is not balanced.

Sagittal plane is also parallel to the vertical axis, so also is vertical, but it divides the body into left and right portions. The plane drawn in the illustration is a "mid sagittal" plane, implying that it divides the body equally into left and right portions. Sagittal movements include most of our beloved lifts, movements in which the body does not leave the sagittal plane.

Transverse plane divides the body horizontally, into upper and lower portions. Transverse movements are rotational.

I believe it's true to say that no movement can remain in more than one plane at a time. But it is possible to leave all three (complex moves such as wood-chops that involve rotation and flexion at the same time, for instance).

This is terminology that is used in medicine fairly regularly, particularly in regard to 3-D imaging, such as CT, MRI or PET scanning. I hope this helps to make the terminology more clear.

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:32 am
by Peter Rouse
Can you post video of your squat? While you are at it video your bench.

Again, are you a powerlifter? what are you training for?

hoosegow wrote:Careful Rouse. I'm on the verge of learning something, but I'm not quite sure what it is just yet. Me actually being able to learn something is scary.

I'm not trying to punch holes in your point. I'm trying to get you to punch them in mine by showing what I think are flaws (and it is very possible that I am wrong) in your arguement.

You ask about the plane of movement, specifically frontal and traverse (forwards and backward for me). As you squat down, the natural tendency is for you to fall forward with a lot of weight. You essentially have to tighten your core to keep this from occurring. I have found that you have to have a very strong core to squat without getting hurt, as you alluded to.

As for watching me squat, I guarantee you will find problems so no disrespect taken. Hell, my lamentation of my squat form can be found on this web site ( http://www.exrx.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5441 ). My squat form has been tweaked no less than 4 times in the last 1.5 years, usually do to some micro-injuries, knee problems, hip problems, lower back tightening up, etc. Additionally, I have added several exercises to my regime to help me with my weaknesses. One of the things that has been helpful to me, especially with my lower back, is for me to go up in weight. If I feel that I am falling forward or my back starts tightening up, I go back down in weight and start hammering front squats (and recently picked up zercher squats). This strengthens my core to the point that when I go back up in weight I have no problems. Same thing with my hips. I have problems with those, drop the weight and hit box squats and one legged leg presses real hard.

Maybe that is a sidebar to my point, but I put a lot of effort in my core when I am squatting. I have to in order to prevent injuries.

And agreed, most people who come to the gym compensate. Most people have terrible form. Most guys sacrifice form for their ego.

I am a firm believer (and a lot of ifs are coming up) that if you squat correctly and if you are lifting heavy for you, then you are getting a hell of a core workout. Heck, I've even felt that I had done a 1000 sit ups after heavy benching.

I just can't picture, in my mind, how heavy lifting (especially squats) does not work the core sufficiently after looking at the videos and trying to understand what you are saying. Admittedly my knowledge base is at a lot lower level. I have nothing against specific arm or core work. In fact I do arm work quite often when I have an extra day, bored and don't want to go home after work. It isn't because I believe it is necessary, I just enjoy being in the gym.

To end my long winded answer to what plane of movement is loaded, in my mind I see and picture all planes (left, right, forward, backwards and all points in between) but especially forward and reverse. I'm sorry if you are getting frustrated with me. You probably feel like you are playing poker with a 5 year old. I would love to be convinced that if I do ABC of core work, then my squat numbers would go up. While you are at it, I beg for one thing that will make my bench numbers go up as well.

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:25 am
by KPj
hoosegow wrote:I just can't picture, in my mind, how heavy lifting (especially squats) does not work the core sufficiently after looking at the videos and trying to understand what you are saying..
Hoosegow, what you say is almost exactly what my training partner says, but it's no where near as extreme as some of the Powerlifters I know. Obviously, the core involvment in squats and DL's is a hellofalot, but it all depends on what you class as 'sufficient'. Or better put, the difference between 'sufficient' and 'efficient'.

For some, and especially people who are a lot stronger than average already, a lot of these movemens won't magically push your numbers up as soon as you start doing them. What they should do, especially if your bad at them, is keep your numbers from going down, which to me, is the same thing.

I hate to sound like a smart a$$. But this is the kind of thing I had to say to my stubborn training partner just to get him to see a physio (which he's still to do)! Anyway, you say you keep getting to certain weight, getting hurt, and having to back off, tweak form etc. Which technically is natural. But you also say you've struggled with lower back tightness, knee problems (which are essentially hip or ankle problems), hip problems etc. To me, hearing you describe that, and then you saying that 'squats and DL's are all you need' is like the fat people who have been on weight watchers for 5 years, who constantly tell you that it's a great diet. Again, I don't mean to sound like an a$$hole, and i've been there myself. But really, if they covered everything, you wouldn't be having all those problems. Every serious lifter is going to suffer some kind of pain, but there is a point where it's just excessive.

Basically, my point is - If you're getting these issues, then I can only assume you're not moving efficiently. The core is like the root of all movement - everything starts at the core, or happens through the core. Even although the lumbar area is largely stable (or, should be), the force needed to create movement originates from the core. If you're movement isn't right, then most likely, you're core isn't, either.

Great thread btw.

KPj

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:57 am
by hoosegow
Dang it! I told yall to be careful. I think I just learned something and it almost makes perfect sense. I'll have to chew on it for a while (thanks doc for the pics) for me to fully grasp it.

KPj what you say actually makes a lot of sense.

Rouse, as I have stated before, I am just a dumb farmer who likes to lift heavy stuff. I plan to compete, someday, but right now I just don't have the time to put into it and my wife would kill me. For the video, you have a lot more faith in my computer skills than I do. It will be a few weeks, since I will be gone all next week, but I will try to have someone film my squat.

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:32 am
by KPj
I've been planning for some time to get some youtube videos up. My training partner has a camera (i don't) and took some videos before he got injured, only of rack pulls, and my first box squats and front squats after a knee injury, but then he got injured and nothings really came of it yet.

I do want them up though - seeing my form just on the camera at the time was a big kick in the a$$ for me. When it finally happens, i'll post a step by step guide :wink:

btw everyone in the gym thinks your an idiot if you film stuff. * shrugs *

KPj

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:51 am
by nice_guy80
wow

lots of info there

no, don't powerlift or compete

I'm training for strength at the moment for playing a field sport which starts back in Feb/March

basically i only realised last year that i was being pushed around way too much. i'd always be fit as a fiddle to run etc, but lacking in strength. so i decided to address that this winter and do some training

a lot of squats, benches etc started doing deadlifts lately

i do know that a lot of strength playing my sport comes from the core area - as it involves running and performing skillful movements

i don't really care about getting toned abs or anything - just functional strength in the core area to do other movements

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:55 am
by nice_guy80

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 10:00 am
by TimD
For the OP, back to your original question, of what other than crunches can wor to stabilize/strengthen the "core". KPJ gave exellent answers. While I still believe Squats and deads are a good start, you might want to try throwing in some drills a couple of times a week aimed at the core. Just to list an example, 1 arms DB/KB or BB (implement doesn't matter, just going by your criteria of keeping it simple) clean, then side press, then while holding the weight overhead, squat it down and up. Thats 1 rep. 3 or so sets of 5L + 5R should give you a good core workout in addition to your squatting and DL'ing. Just my .02
Tim

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 10:05 am
by pdellorto
Jungledoc wrote:Here is my attempt to explain the planes, and the movements that relate to them:
Thanks Doc. I always have trouble sorting out the movement planes, but that helped immensely.

***

And actually, I just spent last night explaining to a former BJJ practitioner how my MMA school does chokes and sets up certain arm locks. We do a lot more curling up and bending to the side than extending back (which you'll see more of in other grappling styles). The easiest way to explain some of the moves was to say "and now, do an oblique crunch" or "and now, just do a situp and reach across his shoulder." Next time I'm dealing with that situation I'll start yelling about the coronal plane and see what happens. :wink:

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:43 pm
by Peter Rouse
If you really want to learn then order Stuart McGill's book Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance and read it. It will give you all the answers you are looking for.

http://www.backfitpro.com/

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:58 pm
by Ironman
Peter, I know you are the guru and all that. The thing is I have seen a study that shows much more recruitment in abs with a squat than with any ab exercises. Deadlifts are much the same. There are different variations on those lifts too.

We also know the obliques are activated with the abs. So I don't see a reason to isolate.

Also you said the core is to prevent movement or stabilize. They do that very well in the squat. Have you ever seen the huge bellies on power lifters? There is a reason for that.

In another point you said squat deadlift only work in the forward backward planes and not side to side. You are stabilized from falling to the side though. You can't even stand up without doing that.