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Functional Core Strength For Fighting, Life, And Sport

Functional Core Strength For Fighting, Life, And Sport

  1. What does having functional core strength even mean?
  2. Are you functionally strong?  
  3. Are you curious as to why athletes such as fighters are referenced for having tremendous “functional core strength?”
  4. Are you interested in building functional core strength from head to toe to improve your fight skills?

5 Do you feel that your workouts are limited because you lack functional core strength?

Depending on who you ask there are many answers to question #1, but to knock out the answer I prefer the following definition to functional core strength.

Functional Core Strength: To possess the strength, skill, and ability to execute movements that mimic real life activities with prowess and without inhibition.

The Functional Core Strength Essentials

So you might be thinking Brandon what is my core? Your core center is basically comprised of your trunk. Your hips, waist, and back all create your center of gravity and function to generate power from the center of your body moving outward to your limbs or segments.  

This is why it is essential for you to train your body in a way that this region can generate force through movements which are involved by helping you to better execute lifts, kicks, knees, elbows, punches, and grappling skills. Having a strong core provides many benefits to all us whether we compete in sports or not. Having a strong core is important for life…period.

Brandon Richey Fitness strength student Jeremy crushing a functional core strength workout with pull upsIf there is a lack of this strength then the effectiveness of performing fight skills, lifts, and other real life movements can be compromised. A lack of functional core strength will bleed your body of power during fight competition. Being able to deliver strikes and effectively grapple over the course of a match with a consistent high level of effort is what will wear down your opposition in order for you to achieve a victory.

A common thread for developing your foundation of core strength involves more than the usual set of planks and plank variations. I’m a big believer in programming exercises that incorporate all 7 foundational human movements. That’s right…in case you were wondering there are only 7 movements the human body is capable of performing.

Functional Core Strength: The 7 Foundational Human Movements

When looking at basic human function you must be proficient in all 7 foundational human movements to enhance functional core strength for fighting and for life in general. These involve…

  1. Squat
  2. Lunge
  3. Push
  4. Pull
  5. Twist
  6. Bend
  7. Gait

A display of functional core strength by performing some roundhouse kicks on the long bag

As a general rule of thumb I am personally a big believer in executing big core lifts that involve multi-joint movements.  This means that you should engage in lifts and exercises that involve more than one joint to stimulate more than one muscle group for a better training response.

This principle is evident and in line with the 7 given foundational human movements I’ve listed here above. With the application of these movements into your strength and conditioning program you’re going be a more optimally functioning athlete and fighter.

Given programming these may also involve variations, or even combinations of these foundational movements, but that is part of the process of you progressing forward with a sound level of function for your functional core strength development.

The Takeaway In Closing

In closing if you’re looking to significantly improve your physical prowess for fighting, sport, and life you’ve got to be proficient in the 7 foundational human movements. Program these regularly into your strength and conditioning plan and progress with variations and even combinations of these movements.

Are you currently utilizing all 7 of these functional core strength movements?

Are you proficient with some movements more than others?

Please post up in the comments here below and share.

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I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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