The Core Advantage training philosophy has been fine-tuned through years of practical application in elite sport.
Screening and Assessment
Every athlete is different, each with their own emotional, intellectual and physiological strengths and weaknesses. During the hour-long initial consultation we set goals, take a detailed chronological injury history, and conduct a biomechanical screening to ensure we have a clear picture of your performance and where you need to improve.
Mobility and Flexibility
The Core Advantage system prioritises movement quality above all else. The foundation of movement quality is mobility and flexibility. Most athletes lose mobility and flexibility through a combination of growing too fast, overloaded weak muscles, and injuries. Step one for every Core Advantage athlete is the restoration of mobility and flexibility through self myofascial release on foam rollers and targeted static stretching.
By following these protocols, our athletes create a kind of ‘system reset’ that enables them to move forward, free of the biomechanical baggage of tight hip flexors, glutes, pecs, spines and ankles.
After mobility and flexibility have been restored, muscle activation becomes the next priority. For most athletes this means lots of control based exercises to target the appropriate activation and timing of their glutes, their core, and scapular muscles. This kind of training is not so much training the muscles themselves, but rather training the brain to switch on the right muscle at the right time.
Activation training enables athletes to sidestep one of the most common pitfalls in strength training: the magnification of disfunctional compensatory patterns.
Athletes must then learn to integrate their new-found muscle control into functional movement patterns. Once the athlete has perfected these integrated movements (such as squats, planks, bridges and corelifts) we can then start to progressively load these movements to reinforce the good patterning and stimulate an adaptive response from both the targeted muscle groups and the central nervous system. Attention to detail is critical in this phase if the athlete is to take advantage of the mobility and activation they have created in steps one and two. You can read about integration training as it relates to loading the glutes here.
Whilst many athletes are very skilful on the court and field, it’s amazing how many of them are poor movers with problematic (and often dangerous) sprinting, cutting, landing and jumping technique. These athletes are able to overcome their movement deficiencies through their high levels of sports skill and game awareness. But a great sportsperson with movement skill problems is like a race car with the handbrake on!
Achieving basic competency in movement skills can have a profound effect on your long-term athletic development.
Strength and Power
Once we have built up a solid foundation of flexibility, mobility, activation, integrated patterning work, and movement skill, it’s time to maximise strength and power.
For some this involves hypertrophy (putting on muscle mass) and for others the goal is maximising power without gaining any weight. What is universal is that with every athlete we are training the central nervous system just as much as the muscular system.
Repeat Effort Ability
Cardiovascular and metabolic fitness is one of the most important qualities in team sports. Athletes with a fitness edge can have a decisive advantage over their less fit counterparts. But most athletes are trained in the wrong energy system, actively making themselves slower and less explosive in the pursuit of fitness. Athletes playing ten or more hours of sport per week should not need more fitness work. In fact for many athletes, more fitness work cuts into recovery and is counter-productive. For those few people that do need it, we follow routines that mimic the specific work/rest ratios of their sport.