A friend just told me about a great article written about the core and his experience going through the strengthening process. Read it at the Wall Street Journal http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704588404575123510044247310.html?mod=googlenews_wsj.
My opinion of core strengthening is that a solid well functioning core is essential to activity, especially athletic activity. Though the literature information currently available is limited as far as what good core activity can accomplish, many disciplines such as trainers, pilates and even Wii Fit (something I use for this) improve core strength and stability and as a result, I feel and function better. When I took hitting lessons a few years ago (I never was a good hitter in softball), at first i learned the movements, practiced but the Wii fit pulled it together using the virtual trainer and I had my best hitting season last year (although many guys are much better than I am) with balls that now go into the outfield. Now if I can get better at running bases, I will have it made.
The problem with core training is that it is not enough. If you are built asymmetrically, the myofascia in your abdomen and lower back muscles has likely tightened in response to this and torqued your core, which makes you lose leverage. Loading this up will cause you to recruit in your legs and shoulder muscles causing shoulder and neck tightness as well as tight hamstrings and calves. This will eventually cause pain. There are many people who attempt to counteract this with foam rollers however, this is just dealing with the symptom. Even worse, many trainers attempt to modify what you do so you can do it, even though they are reinforcing the torqued core and making your problems more chronic.
This is precisely where our office comes in. The best ways to address this is by either using myofascial release or graston techniques and by active evaluation. Once core stability is achieved, you can train it and if you use a personal trainer, they will no longer have to modify your activities and it will enable you to reach your goals. Running or training through it really is not an option. Check us out at www.backfixer1.com. Now as the spring arrives, we can be your secret training weapon and make your training more efficient.