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|-= Core Body Workout =-|
Core Body Workout for the Referee
The first monthís workout focuses on core stability. During core
stability exercises there is little to no movement in the lumbar spine.
The goal is to re-train your deep core muscles so that they keep your
pelvis and spine stable.
Aim for 12-20 repetitions per set (10-60 seconds for the plank) Complete 2-3 sets. Move in a slow and controlled manner. Rest 10-60 seconds in between sets. Do this workout 2-3 days a week for 3-4 weeks.
Bridges are some of the best butt exercises to increase core strength, and they donít require expensive exercise machines.
While butt and hip exercises are good for toning, they are also really important for core strength and stability.
The core is your entire trunk, and it consists of the abdominals, lower back muscles, hip girdle muscles, and shoulder stabilizers.
The gluteus maximus (butt muscle) helps to stabilize the pelvis and the hips. When the pelvis and hips are stable, the knee has less pressure and the lower back has less pressure.
Having strong butt muscles is extremely important for basketball officials, because we are constantly running, and people with knee injuries.
When our foot hits the ground when we run or jump, the tendency is for our hips to cave in. When our hips cave in, our knees cave in. When our knees cave in, there is a lot of extra pressure on the ligaments, tendons, muscles, and cartilage of the knee.
The gluteus maximus (butt and hip muscles) helps to prevent our hips and knees from caving in.
Butt Exercises are important for 2 reasons.
#1 Butt and Leg Exercises can help to shape and tone the hips, andÖ
#2 Butt and Leg Exercises can help to increase core stability and support the lower back and the knees.
Below are 2 of the first butt exercises that you donít need fancy exercise machines to get a good butt workout:
Butt Exercise:  two Leg Floor Bridges
Starting Position: Begin by lying on the floor with your feet flat and your knees bent.
Form: Begin by pulling in your abs to stabilize your lower back. Then, exhale as you push through your heels and lift your hips off the floor.
Squeeze your hip at the top of the motion. Hold for a brief second at the top of the motion before slowly lowering to the starting position.
Personal tips: If you push through your toes you will shift the emphasis to the knees and the front of the thigh. Remember to push through the heels to shift the emphasis to the butt muscles.
At the top of the motion, make sure that your lower back is in good alignment. Donít let your lower back arch excessively.
Perform 10-20 repetitions and rest for 30-60 seconds between sets.
If you feel cramping in the back of the thigh (hamstrings), try stretching your hip flexors and lower back before continuing the set.
Butt Exercise:  One Legged Floor Bridges
This exercise helped me to rehab from a pulled hamstring muscle especially when officiating a high level basketball game. I really like this exercise and itís so good for everyone for so many reasons.
Starting Position: Begin by lying on the floor with your feet flat. Lift one leg so that your thighs are parallel.
Form: Begin by pulling in your abs to stabilize your spine. Exhale and push through the heel of your planted foot to raise your hips off the floor. Hold briefly at the top before slowly lowering to the starting position.
Personal Tips: Maintain the position of your pelvis by keeping your thighs parallel throughout the exercise.
Perform 10-15 repetitions on each side.
In this Core Workout, there is an emphasis on the deep abdominal muscles. Simply put, some of the abdominal muscles are organized in layers.
My research reveals that the superficial muscles are closer to the skin and the deep muscles are closer to the spine. Generally speaking, the superficial muscles help more with movement and the deep muscles work isometrically to help more with keeping the spine and lower back stable and supported by(note: they all work together to do both).
The Plank: The #1 Isometric exercise for Stomach Strength!
The plank is a great exercise to retrain your ab muscles to work more efficiently.
It is an isometric exercise for the stomach
When you pull your belly button towards your spine, you engage and retrain the deepest abdominal muscle to support your back. When personal trainers instructors say to pull in your stomach, they are saying this to cue you to draw your belly button closer to your spine.
When a woman is pregnant the ab muscles get stretched out and stop working as well as they should. After having a baby, new mothers need to focus on retraining their body and their core muscles to work again. And the plank is a great way to recondition your ab muscles.
When you are doing complex movements it is harder to truly focus on the abdominal muscles, but you can focus solely on your core when youíre doing isometric exercises for stomach strength and coordination.
Example, if someone is really overweight the tendency is for the ab and core muscles to be over-stretched, so it is important to build a strong foundation with exercises such as the plank.
How can the Plank Exercise Help Me?
If youíre wondering how balancing on your elbows and toes will help with your ab and stomach muscles you should give the plank a try. The weight of your body and gravity will pull the middle of your body towards the ground, and your back will have the tendency to sag and arch.
To prevent this you must use your ab and stomach muscles and pull in your belly button to keep your body in good alignment.
If you are a beginner, you may notice that your body starts to shake after a few seconds of holding the plank position. This is simply due to a lack of coordination and strength in your core muscles.
Over time, potentially in as little as two weeks youíll notice significant improvement in your ability to hold this position without wavering.
If this exercise feels really easy by itself, try doing another exercise beforehand to slightly fatigue your stomach muscles.
Isometric Exercises for Stomach Strength: Full Plank
Starting Position: Start by balancing on your elbows and your toes, while keeping your body in a straight line.
Form: This is one of the three isometric exercises for stomach muscles that I use regularly. Hold the same position for 10-30 seconds without moving.
Tip: Make sure that you keep your body in a straight line. Keep your abs pulled in to stop your back from arching.
Isometric Exercises for Stomach Strength:
Starting Position: Start by balancing on your elbows and your knees, while keeping your body in a straight line.
Form: This is an isometric exercise for the stomach, which simply means that you hold the same position without moving. Hold for 10-30 seconds.
Tip: Begin with the half plank if you have difficulty holding the full plank for less than 10 seconds. Build up to 30 seconds on the half plank and then graduate to the full plank. Make sure that you keep your body in a straight line.
Lower Back Strengthening Exercises
Including Lower Back Exercises and Back Strengthening Exercises in your core workout can help to decrease your risk of injury and prevent lower back pain.
Many people, who want a nice stomach, focus only on strengthening the abdominal muscles, but to increase core stability and support the joints of the lower back you must also perform exercises for your back muscles.
When your back muscles are strong, you will be less likely to injure your back, and the back muscles are just as important for maintaining good posture as the abdominals
Back Extensions on the Floor
This is a simple lower back exercise that I used during my officiating seasoning. When officiating three to four nights a week youíll need see and feel why itís necessary to perform this exercise regularly. It Works!
Starting Position: Lie on the floor, face down with your hands at the level of your head.
Form: Inhale and lift your chest off the floor. As you lift your chest off the floor, bring your arms towards your sides and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
Personal Tips: Turn your shoulders outwards so that your palms face away from your body.Move in a slow and controlled manner, and hold at the top for 1 second before lowering back towards the floor.
Perform 10-20 repetitions per set, and stretch between sets if your lower back muscles feel tight.
Superman's: Upper body only
Starting Position: Begin by lying face down on the floor with your arms extended over your head.
Form: Inhale and lift your chest and arms off the floor.
Personal Training Tips: Move in a slow and controlled manner.
Hold for 1 second at the top of the exercise before lowering back towards the floor.
Perform 10-20 repetitions per set, and stretch in between sets if you feel tightness in your lower back.
Superman: Upper Body and Lower Body
This exercise is more challenging than the previous exercise.
Starting Position: Begin by lying face down on the floor with your hands over your head.
Form: Inhale and lift your chest and arms off the floor, and at the same time lift your legs off the floor.
Personal Tips: Move in a slow and controlled manner. This prevent you from using momentum, and puts the most emphasis on your muscles.
Only go as far as you feel comfortable.
Hold for 1 second at the top of the exercise before lowering back to the floor.
Perform 10-20 repetitions per set, and stretch your lower back in between sets if you feel tightness in your muscles.
Lower back exercises: are really important for your spine health and overall orthopedic health. The lower back muscles work with the abdominal muscles in order to keep the spine stable, improve sports performance, and decrease the risk of injury or back pain.
The above are only general sports work-out tips. If you are a professional athlete, or are involved in body building or more endurance training programs, please speak to a Registered Trainer for a customized plan.
Start Strong, Stay Strong, Finish Strong!!!
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