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Balance the Imbalance – Part VI: Core Movement

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Written by: Mark Allen

Over the next few days Mark Allen will explain the best way to balance the task of maintaining a high level at your strongest sport, while also improving in your weaker sports. In this edition, Allen explains how focusing on your core can improve your performance in all three sports.

I just mentioned this in the last paragraph, but it really needs its own section. All of the most powerful movements originate from your core. The least effective way to generate force is from your extremities. Whether you are trying to catch someone’s feet in the swim, hang on over the top of a hill on the bike, or pull away from a competitor on the run, if you have learned to generate power and speed from your core, your body will be better able to do what you ask of it in races.

You probably engage your core already when you are working in your strongest sport, and that is why you are good at it. But if you watch someone who has a noticeably weak sport, you will probably observe that that the athlete moves more from the extremities than from the core of the body.

There are lots of ways to actively move from your core. Pilates is one of the best tools to strengthen your core, and doing core work with a trainer is also helpful. But you can just as easily develop an awareness of the area that begins inside your abs and extends downward to your glutes (for cycling especially) and up to just below your ribcage (the roll in your swim) on your own.

Next up, Allen explains the benefits of simply replacing negative statements with positive ones.

Mark Allen is the six-time winner of the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii and is available for speaking engagements worldwide. For further information about Mark’s speaking availability, please call 1-800-994-5306. Based in Santa Cruz, Calif., Mark has a state-of-the-art online triathlon-training program at www.markallenonline.com. In addition, Mark co-teaches a workshop titled Fit Soul, Fit Body with Brant Secunda, a shaman, healer and ceremonial leader in the Huichol Indian tradition. They have recently released a book by this same name that you can find at bookstores near you or on Amazon.com (Fit Soul, Fit Body-9 Keys to a Healthier, Happier You).