5 Most Common Mistakes of Core Training

by Gray Cook |  Date Released : 03 Apr 2006

  • Introduction
  • Five most common mistakes “I made” in core training
  • Shifting the paradigm
  • Don’t add the positive until you’ve removed the negative
  • Core is the ultimate compensator to equalize the system in movement
  • Power of movement screen
  • Enthusiasm about training
  • Movement screens put you into mastery
  • We all use movements to assess, but why do it in two to three weeks instead of one day?
  • Mistake #1: Isolate the core
  • Open body so core is activated ALL the time
  • Children do it
  • If there is a need for isolation, core must be compensating
  • Mistake #2: Muscles not movements
  • Deadlift example
  • Don't let knowledge slow you down
  • Not squatting… perhaps brain has forgotten how
  • Work on the whole before the specifics
  • Don’t be paralyzed by analysis
  • Mistake #3: Belief that Strength = Stability
  • Stability is the ability to resist movement amidst movement
  • Stability must come first
  • Looking at overall patterns
  • Balancing wisdom with intelligence
  • Mistake #4: Not realizing that the core operates on reflexive action
  • Foot position is key indicator of core
  • Symmetrical, split, single leg
  • Core functions differently with different foot positions
  • Mistake #5: I treat before I diagnose
  • Doing someone else’s program is like taking someone else’s medicine
  • Don’t assume everyone needs the same thing
  • Get rid of asymmetries
  • Assess what’s really going on
  • Change the pattern – change all details
  • Know more about human body than about exercise

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Gray Cook

About the author: Gray Cook

Gray Cook, a practicing physical therapist, has spent his entire career refining and developing functional evaluation exercise techniques. His interests have led him in two directions. The first was in the field of reactive training techniques starting with his Masters thesis. His work was developed into a journal article that was the foundation of a nationally recognized continuing education course for physical therapists and athletic trainers. The course is offered through the North American Sports Medicine Institute and the information ultimately became a book chapter. Gray’s second contribution was in the form of functional movement screening. This tool is not so much an evaluation for individuals entering rehabilitation as it is a screening tool for individuals participating in sports and fitness activities.

Gray’s first movement screen targeted the athletic population out of a desire to curtail the unnecessary injuries in athletics as a result of poor conditioning and poor flexibility that result in poor movement patterns. He realized that the one piece of information not currently being considered in the field of sports medicine, sports conditioning, fitness and rehabilitation was that movement is represented not by isolated singular movements but by unique patterns of movement that can either work together or against each other in the human system. Cook realized that a system needed to be in place to recognize and objectify these patterns.

Gray has lectured nationally and internationally in the fields of physical therapy, sports medicine and performance enhancement. He has served as a consultant to numerous universities and professional sports teams in all four major sports. Gray’s consulting is not limited to rehabilitation and sports medicine. He is equally sought after for his advice on conditioning and performance enhancement. Gray currently practices physical therapy in southwest Virginia and continues to publish and present topics related to rehabilitation and exercise.

Gray is a board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist with the American Physical Therapy Association. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association and a Level I coach with the U. S. Weight Lifting Federation.

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