Core stabilization exercises are important for both injury prevention and improved performance in sports. With a strong supportive trunk, athletes can safely rely on the power and energy transferred through it while decreasing the likelihood of low-back injuries and deceleration injuries of the lower extremities—such as anterior cruciate ligament (knee ACL) injuries and meniscal tears.
- Forearms on the floor about shoulder-width apart, elbows at a 90-degree angle and directly below the shoulders, extend your legs straight back about hip-width apart, toes on the floor.
- Lift your body so the weight is on the forearms and toes. Your body should be in a straight line from head to heels.
- Engage your deep core muscles by tilting the pelvis slightly and drawing in the navel toward your back (Ab Draw). Do not let your hips sag, which would disengage the abs and put strain on the low back. (Some people suggest that the back should be completely straight, but if it takes slightly lifting your hips to properly engage your core, that’s okay. It’s better to lift the hips slightly than to drop the hips too low.)
Note: If you feel the need to lift your hips quite a bit to avoid back strain, modify this exercise by dropping to your knees. Be sure your back remains flat in this position so you continue to engage your abs.