If you’re new to Core Performance, this article will help you get up to speed on the fundamentals of our approach to training your body to perform at its best. Core Performance training is likely different than other workouts or exercise plans you’ve encountered. Core Performance programs focus on training your body for better health and sustainable performance with innovative movements developed and researched through many years of working with elite athletes, military, and people from all walks of life. Core Performance training will help you look great, feel amazing, and perform your best.
Key Training Principles
Train for the demands of life and sport.
Core Performance workouts utilize functional movements that prepare your body for the activities you perform in your daily life, recreational activities, and sports. Here’s a simple example: Instead of performing a traditional seated leg extension, you might perform a squat in Core Performance workouts. This way, your body learns to provide the stability instead of a machine and you move through a complete range of motion.
Train movements, not muscles.
Core Performance workouts focus on multi-joint movements that improve coordination and recruit lots of muscles, a process that expends more energy (read: burns more calories) and provides a greater return on time invested. Watch the video below to see performance specialist Nick Winkelman explain what it means to train movements.
Develop pillar strength.
Life requires pillar strength—stability through your hips, torso, and shoulders—and Core Performance workouts are designed to improve it. It’s impossible to move your limbs efficiently and forcefully if they’re not attached to something solid and stable (i.e. your pillar). When your hips, torso, and shoulders are properly aligned, you can transfer energy throughout your body more effectively. The result: more strength and power with less fatigue and less risk for injury. Learn more about pillar strength.
Be proactive with your body.
About 65 percent of injuries—both athletic and lifestyle related—come from overuse, which is to say from repetitive use of joints that are rendered dysfunctional by muscular imbalances. To avoid pain, injury, and ultimately rehabilitation, you need a proactive approach, or what we call prehabilitation (or “prehab” for short). With prehab, we seek to build strength and stability around your most vulnerable areas, while improving mobility, balance, and joint function. Since prehab addresses the muscular imbalances that lead to injuries, it helps prevent many lower back injuries, shoulder joint problems, and hamstring pulls, for instance. Learn more about prehab.
Understand your limiting factors.
If you have an opportunity to follow a Core Performance program at one of our facilities, you’ll begin with an assessment that includes a movement screen, cardiovascular fitness assessment, nutrition consultation, and goal setting exercise. A movement screen looks at fundamental movement patterns to expose asymmetries or weak links. Customizing a program to address your limitations is necessary to optimize performance and reduce injury risk. If you’re interested in an evaluation, please contact an Athletes’ Performance facility or visit CorePerformanceWellness.com. Learn more about balancing your body and try this simple fix to restore balance in your workout.
Maximize your time.
Just as you strive for efficiency at work and in your personal life, your workout should be no different. Core Performance programs use a variety of techniques, such as complementary movements and circuit training, to increase the density of your workouts—that is, your ability to get more work done in less time. Get tips to make you workouts efficient.
Balance work with rest.
Recovery is necessary and equally important as working out. If you don’t give your body time to recover, it’s never going to improve. Training is just one part of the puzzle. To optimize health and performance for every individual, the Core Performance system focuses on four key areas: Mindset, Nutrition, Movement, and Recovery. These elements don’t operate independently. Nutrition and exercise alone aren’t enough. But together, and incorporated into daily habits, these four fundamentals will help you succeed now—and for life. Learn more about the Core Performance system.
Benefits of Core Performance Training
Core Performance training programs help people from all walks of life to look, feel, and perform great. Personalized online programs range from focusing on alleviating pain to preparing for an endurance race. Here are just a few of the benefits of this approach to training:
- Improved stability and mobility
- Greater strength and power
- Increased cardiovascular fitness
- Reduced risk for pain and injury
- Body composition improvements
- Blood lipid profile improvements
Anatomy of a Core Performance Workout
Core Performance workouts consist of a variety of sections that we refer to as training components. Each component is designed to work together to deliver a comprehensive and efficient training session. Core Performance training components include:
- Pillar Preparation – Your pillar, which consists of your hips, torso, and shoulders, is the foundation for all movement. When these areas are trained properly, you can transfer energy throughout your body more effectively, so you’ll produce more strength and power with less fatigue. Pillar Preparation primes these critical areas to prepare your body for the work ahead, helping to protect you from injury and boosting performance. Learn more.
- Movement Preparation – Movement Preparation, or Movement Prep, is an efficient warm-up that consists of dynamic stretches designed to lengthen, strengthen, and stabilize your body. Not only will it prepare your mind and body for better workouts, but it will actually make you stronger and help you move more efficiently. Think of it as warming up with a purpose. Movement Prep is typically the first or second training component (following Pillar Prep) in Core Performance workouts, but you can also perform it anytime, anywhere. Learn more.
- Medicine Ball – Medicine Ball training requires a simple yet highly effective training tool, the medicine ball, to develop explosive power, strength, and stability. You’ll train your whole body through a complete range of motion. Learn more.
- Movement Skills – Movement Skills will help you move more efficiently. Not only will you become faster and more powerful, but you’ll also reduce your risk for injury and get more out of the rest of your training. Movement Skills focuses on speed techniques that are specific to your goal or sport. These drills or exercises will help you develop linear speed (in a straight line), lateral speed (side to side), as well as multidirectional speed. Learn more.
- Plyometrics – Plyometrics will help you build a powerful, explosive body. You’ll focus on training your muscles to be more elastic with exercise involving repeated rapid stretching and contracting of the muscles—for example, by jumping and bounding. This training will help your body learn to create and absorb force dynamically to improve performance and decrease your risk of injury. Learn more.
- Strength – This is the resistance training portion of your workout. It’s not just about increasing the strength of your larger muscles. It improves stabilizing strength, which supports proper alignment, movement patterns, and energy transfer, and helps to reduce injuries. Learn more.
- Energy Systems Development (ESD) – ESD is the cardiovascular component of Core Performance training programs. The intensity of the workouts is broken up into three different heart rate zones, which are differentiated by color: Yellow is easy/recovery, green is moderate/strength, and red is hard/power. Learn more.
- Regeneration – A staple of the Core Performance program, Regeneration includes self-massage with a foam roll or gentle stretching with a stretch rope to help your muscles recover faster from the stress of exercise. Learn more.
Core Performance Training Phases
Core Performance training programs progress through a series of three-week phases. It’s a continuous cycle in which you’re always progressing and challenging your body in new ways. Another way to think of it: You’ll continually switch gears, from working on your foundation to focusing on strength, stability, and so on.
Each of these phases is dependent on another. Remove your sturdy foundation, and it becomes increasingly difficult to produce power. Stop working on mobility, and you have less room to build strength. If this balancing act sounds more like an exercise in science, that’s because it is. Exercise physiologists refer to it as “periodization,” which basically means a planned and progressive method of changing your workouts. Learn more about Core Performance training phases.
Online Training Programs
Get fit and stay fit with premium online training and nutrition programs for $9.99 a month or $89 a year. Core Performance training program members have unlimited access to more than 50 progressive and customizable programs for general health and fitness goals as well as sport-specific programs.
To experience a Core Performance online training program, start a free 10-day trial today.