Core for life


Ally Taylor shares how ViPR helps train the core for life.

‘No man is an island, entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.’ John Donne

I like to apply this quote to our physical bodies.

‘No muscle is an island, but a part of a wider continent, each a part of the main and working best when interacting in an integrated way as we move, whether moving from point A to point B or for a task such as dancing, running or lifting weights in the gym.’

Let’s apply this concept to core training. For as many years as I have been in the fitness industry (22), people have jumped down onto the floor to train their core in both the gym and classes, performing hip flexion-dominant, isolation moves. Last I checked this is not how the core functions in life.

Our core is a powerhouse transfer centre. It transmits force and assists movement between the lower and upper body. It helps us reach for the top shelf, pick up a bag from the floor at an awkward angle, carry the screaming child to bed or lift a suitcase into the aeroplane overhead bin. It helps us to move with power in sport. Short range, isolation moves lying down will not develop a strong, robust core which can cope with the challenges of life and sport. For that we need our core to be able to move through full range of motion, including spinal extension, full range flexion, rotation and coupled Type 1 and Type 2 movements of lateral flexion/rotation and we need to move in positions which replicate life and sport … STANDING!

ViPR is one of the most brilliant tools we have to train the core for life. Using the various movement patterns of lifting, shifting, shlifting, carrying, flipping, etc. gives us ways to load the whole connective tissue system, working the whole body and core simultaneously. Changing the hand grip, foot stance or base pattern gives you different ways to load the tissue with similar movements and we know that variability is important for joint health and avoidance of overuse injures. Want more challenge? Go wide grip or offset. Want to replicate the asymmetry we experience in life constantly? Use a suitcase grip or, again, offset. Most importantly, ViPR allows us to train the torso through full-range spinal flexion and extension when we lift it overhead and move our lower body simultaneously, loading us in ways we actually need to be strong and resilient.

Many people today are working out for reasons of health and movement longevity. Many of my clients are 40+ and busy at the peaks of their careers with family commitments to boot. They want to be able to train two or three times a week and maximise results in that time, so every session is a whole-body day, with core being integrated constantly throughout the workout. ViPR, of all my tools, allows me to programme in core while simultaneously training cardio/strength so that my clients feel movement strong AND muscle strong.

ViPR; Core for Life:

To view Ally’s full article and video series head over to the FitPro blog here…

Ally has been a personal trainer and group exercise instructor for over 21 years and runs a private studio in East Horsley, Surrey. She specialises in training the human being, not just the human body and believes we need more focus on movement for health, rather than just aesthetics. She has also worked in fitness education for over 12 years and has trained over 1000 trainee fitness instructors in that time.