By Dr Bohdanna Zazulak: We have all heard about the importance of working out the core, but have we really thought about all the reasons why
a strong and well-functioning core is so extremely important to us – be it in our every day activities, while playing sports or when exercising? A strong core is vital both for physical and mental well-being.
For athletes, this book offers information on how to improve one’s performance as well as avoiding injuries and enjoying a longer, possibly injury-free or low injury career. The same holds true for amateurs or anyone who enjoys participating in sports or staying healthy through regular exercise.
In her book Master Your Core, Dr Bohdanna Zazulak looks at the core in a scientific way along while presenting easy to understand information along with easy to relate to examples illustrating what she is discussing. The first half of the book discusses the core in a myriad of ways. She discusses everything that is associated with and integral to core stability and proper functioning of the core or core biomechanics to perform desired tasks or to react properly to unexpected tasks – slipping or falling on ice or pavement cracks, etc… She discusses the various muscles of the core along with our nervous system, bones, spine, correct breathing, better posture and better mind-core connection. How improving core stability can improve your performance, correct imbalances in movement and one’s body and prevent injury no matter what you are doing in life at a moment in time.
She examines the difference between a woman’s body and a man’s body, so giving perspective to the importance of core empowerment for both sexes. The risk of injury in men and women is different due slightly different body structure and make-up between the sexes but she shows and concludes how this risk can be mitigated or prevented with “accurate timing” of core muscle activation and the right amount of core muscle strength.
The second half or so of the book takes what she discusses in theory about the core in the first half and puts it into use by presenting 50 science-based exercises divided into sections each with sets of easy to do exercises along with variations depending one’s ability and comfort, fitness level to perform these exercises:
Core Empowering Stretching
- “These slow dynamic movements combined with diaphragmatic breathing, prepare the core for sustained stretches at end range for optimal core flexibility.”
Core Awareness Exercises
- Core stabilization exercises as the foundation for greater core awareness by teaching your mind to activate certain muscles.
Core Balance Exercises
- Focuses on core control to establish stability
Medicine Ball Exercises
- Medicine ball training is ideal for and will help you to achieve speed of movement, your ability to generate force, your ability to react to force applied to your body from various directions.
In this section she goes in detail on why and how to use medicine balls for core training along with how it was used historically and how you can use it now.
Core Stabilizing Exercises
- Stability balancing exercises done on an unstable surface allows your body to use more of your core stabilizing muscles than on a flat surface.
Core Plyometric Exercises
- Jump training exercises that assist in development of core stability.
Core Suspension Exercises
- Using ropes or straps for suspension training like the TRX system to strengthen and train the core by sensing, reacting to and controlling oscillatory forces created by gravity.
She does an excellent job of clearly describing in text on how to do each of these exercises and the 3 visual illustrations or diagrams of each exercise are really good and helpful. She also has videos on her website that you may want to take a closer look at.
After reading this book, one will really appreciate how incredible the human body is and how complicated it is. This is a well-written and concise book by Dr Bohdanna Zazulak with scientific facts and information taken from her own career and experiences as a doctor that is very comprehensive. I enjoyed reading this book although it does takes time to read and absorb, digest the information about the importance of the core to the well-functioning of our body mechanics. It’s not a book I would borrow from the library, rather a book I would purchase because it will serve as a great reference point for years to come. It’s a book you want to re-read sections every once in a while as a reminder. Also, I recommend you undertake the exercises one step at a time in order to do them properly and to master them, get the full benefits of these core exercises. Published by TCK Publishing