Getting to the bottom of locomotor control


Clive Brewer with Clare Pettigrew

Over the last 10 years, much of the focus of physical conditioning work has been on developing postural control (often referred to as the mythical “Core Stability”). Often, the focus of this work has been on the athlete’s ability to control the pelvis position, using isolated recruitment of muscles within the deep abdominal area of the trunk. All too often, however, little thought is given to the overall postural integrity of an athlete, or to the fact that, in reality, muscles such as multifidus or transverses abdominus (muscles deep within the abdominal area focused on within classical “Core stability” work) do not act in isolation, but are in fact phasic / sequential in their recruitment. Indeed, just because in healthy subjects it activates before all other anterior muscles in certain movements does not mean it is important in any way: it just means that it is the first in a sequence of events.

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