I recently watched Eric Cressey's presentation on the Anterior Core. I found it very good. One of those, wow, Internet is amazing kind of moments. Fork over 15 bucks and get to sit and learn for 45 min from a respected leader in the field.
He opens with one comment I've come to truly appreciate. If I can learn one thing to take back to my clinic for my patients and athletes and start implementing, it was worth it. Give me one thing to take away that can have real value in my world. Not conceptual. Applicable. I learned a few.
First, I found a nice tie in with the Postural Restoration information I had went through a few weeks ago. Eric is very familiar with it, having taken their seminars and was actually one of the ways I first heard about PRI. So I found a lot of practical information on how to implement the PRI principles much easier.
Get good proximally before distally. If the core/spine aren't right, the extremities won't be either. Get to neutral and stay neutral. Use warm ups to work on getting flexed people into extension and those locked into extension into flexion, thus getting both to neutral. The workout then becomes what cements the neutral spine.
Many of the modern injuries we see can all be related back to the anterior core. Sports hernias, femoral impingement and hip labral tears can all be related back to having anterior rotated pelvis. Excessive tension through muscles like adductor longus and rectus abdominis. Thoracic outlet can also have roots from a dysfunctional anterior core.
A great test is have the patient supine. Flex the hip and internally rotate the hip. This may cause a pinching pain in many people. Now, have them brace the abs and slightly posterior tilt the pelvis. Retest flexion and internal rotation. Often the pain will be gone. It's not a hip problem, it's an anterior core problem.
He talks about another simple test to decide if your patient/athlete should even be doing overhead work. Can you raise your arms overhead without letting the ribcage tip up in the front? Important for all the Crossfit athletes that live overhead.
Everyone is unique. There are many great exercises, but you may have to coach and cue one person much different then another. Again, one may be locked in flexion, one may be locked in extension. Don't coach the exercise the same.
Anytime you lift something overhead, you are working the anterior core. Gain length in the Lats and strength in the obliques and rectus abdominis and you will gain a much more functional anterior core.
Eric goes on to discuss exercise progressions for many different lifts and exercises. These progressions, how to implement them and why you would, make up the heart of the presentation. I would highly encourage anyone that works with athletes to give it a watch. I'm sure you will walk away with one applicable nugget of information you can start to use right away.