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Developing The Core


Author: Willardson JM, ed.
Category: Strength Training
Audience: Elite Athlete
Length: 215 pages
Publisher: Human Kinetics
  Year Published: 2014
List Price: $19.95

AthleteInMe.com® Rating: Excellent!

Developing The Core is a multi-authored resource on core training. It is endorsed by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

• Recommended for: serious athletes and weekend warriors.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

• David Behm, PhD is the associate dean of graduate studies and research at the school of human kinetics and recreation at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He has published 120 articles covering neuromuscular responses to resistance training, stretching, and rehabilitation. Dr. Behm was drafted into the Canadian Football League, played junior hockey, and won Canadian provincial championships in tennis and squash.

• Eric Childs, MEd, CSCS, CPT is a kinesiology instructor in health and physical education at Penn State. He is a former All-American in wrestling. Prior to his position at Penn State, he served one season as the strength and conditioning coach for the Texas Rangers baseball team.

• Jay Dawes, PhD is assistant professor of strength and conditioning at the University of Colorado. He holds numerous certifications: strength and conditioning specialist (NSCA), level-2 strength coach (Australian Strength and Conditioning Assoc.), health fitness specialist (ACSM), club coach (USA Weightlifting).

• James DiNaso, MA is co-owner of the Body Club, a personal training facility in Charleston, IL. He holds a masters degree in exercise science from Eastern Illinois University and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist and certified personal trainer.

• Allen Hedrick, MA is head strength and conditioning coach at Colorado State U. at Pueblo. He also teaches at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He holds a masters degree in exercise science from Cal State U. at Fresno. He has authored over 100 articles on strength and conditioning topics.

• Jeffrey Kipp, MA is a strength and conditioning coach at the Air Force Academy. Before that, he was a performance coach at Velocity Sports Performance in Denver and a strength and conditioning coach at the University of Denver. He is certified as a strength and conditioning specialist by NSCA.

• Mark Kovacs, PhD is a performance physiologist and researcher. He directed the sports science, strength-conditioning, and coaching departments for the US Tennis Association. He is originally from Melbourne, Australia, but played tennis at Auburn University where he was an All-American and a NCAA doubles champion. He played tennis professionally before earning his PhD from the University of Alabama. He has published over 50 peer-reviewed papers. Dr. Kovacs holds certifications from NSCA and from ACSM.

• Russ Malloy, CPT, CSCS is the head strength and conditioning coach and owner of Heart of a Champion, LTD, in Boulder, CO.

• Patrick McHenry, MA is the head strength and conditioning coach at Castle View High School in Castle Rock, CO. He earned a masters degree in physical education with an emphasis in kinesiology from the University of Northern Colorado. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist (NSCA).

• Thomas W. Nesser, PhD is an associate professor in the department of kinesiology, recreation, and sport at Indiana State University. Dr. Nesser obtained his masters degree in exercise science from the University of Nebraska and his PhD in kinesiology from the University of Minnesota. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist (NSCA).

• Brijesh Patel, MA is the head strength and conditioning coach for Quinnipiac University. He has held prior academic appointments at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester MA and at the University of Connecticut. He obtained his masters degree in sport management from the University of Connecticut. He holds certifications from NSCA and from USA Weightlifting.

• Joel Raether, MAEd has served as the director of sport performance for the Colorado Mammoth lacrosse team since 2007. He was the education programs coordinator for the NSCA from 2009 to 2011. He has been a strength and conditioning coach at the University of Denver and at the University of Nebraska. He obtained his masters degree in exercise science from the University of Nebraska. He is a certified strength and conditioning coach (NSCA).

• Scott Riewald, PhD is the winter sports high-performance director for the US Olympic Committee. He obtained graduate degrees in biomechanics from Boston University and from Northwestern University. Previously, Dr. Riewald worked as the biomechanics director for USA Swimming and as the sport science administrator for the US Tennis Association.

• Greg Rose, DC is a board-certified doctor of chiropractic and holds an engineering degree from the University of Maryland. He specializes in working with golfers and frequently appears on the Golf Channel as part of the Titleist Performance Institute weekly show.

• Brad Schoenfeld, MSc is a strength and fitness specialist. He has published several popular training books for women. He holds strength and conditioning specialist and personal trainer certifications from NSCA. He is currently working towards his PhD at Rocky Mountain University.

• David Szymanski, PhD is an associate professor in the department of kinesiology and is baseball strength and conditioning coach at Louisiana Tech University. He received his PhD in exercise physiology from Auburn University. Dr. Szymanski is a certified strength and conditioning coach (NSCA).

• Jeffrey Willardson, PhD is the editor of this book. Dr. Willardson is currently an associate professor in the kinesiology and sports studies department at Eastern Illinois University. He earned his PhD in exercise and wellness from Arizona State University in 2005. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist.

CONTENT

This 215-page book is organized as follows:

PART I: ESSENTIALS OF CORE DEVELOPMENT

  • Chapter 1: Core Anatomy and Biomechanics
  • Chapter 2: Core Assessment
  • Chapter 3: Core Muscle Activity During Exercise
  • Chapter 4: Core Development Exercises and Drills
  • Chapter 5: Core Programming

PART II: SPORT-SPECIFIC CORE DEVELOPMENT

  • Chapter 6: Baseball and Softball
  • Chapter 7: Basketball
  • Chapter 8: Football
  • Chapter 9: Golf
  • Chapter 10: Ice Hockey
  • Chapter 11: Soccer
  • Chapter 12: Swimming
  • Chapter 13: Tennis
  • Chapter 14: Track and Field
  • Chapter 15: Volleyball
  • Chapter 16: Wrestling

This book has a list of References and Index at the end.

REVIEW

Chapter 1 focuses on anatomy and kinesiology and chapter 2 addresses testing. This content is only appropriate for academics and athletic trainers and will be clearly over the head of the average weekend warrior. Chapter 3 also contains good info but will likely also be too sophisticated for the average reader.

Chapter 4 (74 pages) presents the specific exercises. Each includes several black-and-white photos, and a short description. Chapter 5 discusses how to design a training program. These chapters are done well.

The rest of the book, Part II, presents training regimens for 11 specific sports.

Photos & Illustrations: This book contains a good number of black-and-white photos of subjects demonstrating the exercises. Generally, these are well done, though the "starfish" (p. 72) and "medicine ball crossover step throw" (p. 98) would be easier to comprehend with several additional shots of the motion involved.

Tables & Graphs: There are quite a few tables in Part II; generally, these are concise and easy to understand. No graphs appear.

Documentation / Accuracy: This is not a scientific book, per se, but each of the 17 authors is a qualified academic or practitioner. Throughout the book, citations to primary research are identified, with the specific literature citations provided at the end of the book. In other words, while this book doesn't necessarily demand a strict documentation approach, the fact that it does identify published research gives it a great deal of validity and credibility. Kudos to the authors for this.

What I Liked About This Book: It's concise and easy to use. The authors are qualified academics and practitioners. The content is supported with citations to published research, and, those citations are listed at the back of the book.

What Could Be Better: When you get down to it, how different can training the core for basketball, for example, be, compared to training the core for volleyball? Nevertheless, Part II of the book (53 pages) provides core-training regimens for specific sports. OK, that's a useful approach, but, the authors ignored diving and gymnastics, sports where core-training is critical (especially gymnastics!). Also, while I do like citations to published literature, the layout of the References List at the end is annoying: The citations are listed for each chapter. I wanted to see all the papers by Stuart McGill, PhD. This meant that I had to peruse 16 separate lists (ie., one for each chapter). Also, some citations are listed numerous times...ie., for each chapter they are used. One master alphabetical list would be a lot easier to use.

SUMMARY

In summary, Developing The Core is well done and is a useful book. I like this core-training book better than Conditioning To The Core by Brittenham and Taylor, also published in 2014. While that book has better images, Developing The Core is shorter, easier to use, and, most importantly, it cites published research. While the first half of this book is clearly intended for academics and athletic trainers, weekend warriors and any others who want to begin a dedicated core-training program can benefit from the exercises detailed in chapter 4 and in Part II. Thus, I can recommend Developing The Core for weekend warriors and any others who want to begin a dedicated core-training program.

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Reviewed by: Stan Reents, PharmD 10/28/2016 10:55:34 AM
 
 


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