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Engaging the Core?


gregy
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My opinion is that "engaging the core" is resisting the natural tendency to bend at the waist. When I go rock climbing, those guys use the same term of engaging your core when you climb on negative inclines. If you're hanging by your hands and feet on a ceiling, it takes core strength (back and stomach muscles) to keep your body from folding down in a V shape. Same thing with skiing only you're vertical instead of horizontal. Your ski is out in front of you and you're hanging on by your hands. If you stop using your core muscles or they get weak, the boat will pull you in a V shape.

 

This is the first year I really started getting into the course and just yesterday I felt like I was skiing really well. Almost had my 32mph pass but I'm getting weak and tired by 4-5 balls. So really, the muscles I should be using are still developing for skiing the course. Well last night, my abs and obliques were just shot and it hurt to lean forward enough to get up from the sofa.

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@jfw432 thanks for the response. I can see what your saying and the few times I tried wall climbing I was surprised at how sore my abs were later. I've also read on here to keep your glutes tight. So are we supposed consciously try to keep our glutes and abs tight as we ski through the course?
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try land training is awesome. I keep my abs and glutes ungaged alot when I'm standing or sitting. Let them think you are crazy. Stay Obsessed, that will get you down the line faster!

 

Hoping on one foot, slack line, plyo, pilates, yoga ect... all engage the core.

 

Body awareness is essental!

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Thanks @jfw432 and @rich. Being stacked / leverage position is something that can be seen. Its an easy concept to grasp (although, not so easy to do all the time). Engaging the core was a little more abstract. I figured they're others wondering the same thing. I always thought it was something that naturally happen when you are in a leverage position being pulled by the boat.
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Well your core will be engaged naturally if you're in the right position at the right time. The problem is finding that position in the first place place and knowing which muscles to use to counter the boats forces. I'm sure there are hundreds of ways to think about getting in the right position behind the boat but only a few may actually click for you. If tensing up or engaging your core will help you use the right muscles behind the boat, give it a try.
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  • Baller

I'm following this with some fascination, because I don't know what people mean when they say "engage the core" and it sure looks to me like nobody else does either!

 

I think what Klundell said is the key point. In order to ski better, especially on shortlines where the outbound arc becomes critical, more core strength is required. But I don't know how to independently "engage my core."

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@than_bogan that's what I was thinking. Was I missing something there, I didn't know? I'm thinking body position as I'm skiing through the course, I never actively think about any what muscles or what it takes to be in that position.

 

When I was younger and doing a lot weight lifting I trained myself to isolate the muscles I wanted to work with a particular exercise, took a while. Maybe its something similar to that.

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Yeah, I wonder too. I would think since being stacked and in balance is a fluid thing and not static, it has to do with using those core muscles in a way to maintain good position of the body, and good position of the ski relative the boat and handle, etc. How to do it, or what the particular goals are, is still a mystery to me.
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I love Kstar. This is like the 3rd time I've seen @MarcusBrown post something from him. So if you aren't following mobilitywod.com you probably should be. During the video he talks about the relationship between ribcage and pelvis. The ability to maintain that relationship under dynamic loads and ranges of motion is exactly what "core strength" really is. 1) learn to get into the position Kstar is talking about. 2) Get into that position before you enter the course. 3) Build strength to maintain that position under the loads and different ranges of motion the course requires.
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@marcusbrown Thanks, I watched that video and started practicing what he was saying. Then I got in my slalom stance and tried it. It actually feels very natural. You put some torque on the outside of your feet and the hips just come forward. Forces you to put weight on both feet also. I'll try some free skiing see if I can get it to translate.
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