The pillar, or often referred to as the core, is generally the body after removing the head, arms, and legs. It is involved in ALL elements of training, sports, and general movement, serving 2 primary functions. The first primary function of the core is to provide strength to the body. The pillar allows for the integrated mobility, and stability of the hip, trunk, and pelvis. Our breathing, a functional movement that may develop dysfunction, is also affected by our pillar. A strong pillar, allows for an efficient breathing pattern, which aids in improving performance. The pillar is comprised of the shoulder/scapula (shoulder blades), spine, pelvis, hips, and all the connective muscles and tissues holding them together.
Why should we prepare the pillar?
The pillar is not a part of our bodies that creates, or generates force. It does, however serve as the focal point for energy transfer, or kinetic linking. This is the process of transferring energy produced from one extremity, and directing it to another.
3 SUB-COMPONENTS OF PILLAR PREPARATION
SMFR, or soft tissue mobilization, targets the connective tissue known as the facia. SMFR allows for the release of tightened facia and muscles, and allows for a temporary increase in joint mobility and flexibility. SMFR can be done using a foam roller, lacrosse or trigger ball, massage stick, or more recently available, a massage gun.
Mobility refers to the ability of your joint to move in its complete range of motion. Here, corrective exercises and stretches are used to move the necessary muscles, for maximal joint range of motion.
Activation is the priming of your core muscles. As we want our core muscles to be firing during all movements, it is important to prepare the muscles for constant contractions. This is also the last stage where breathing techniques are introduced to help complement the constant contraction of the muscles.
In conclusion, pillar prep is essential to getting your joints and muscles ready for the movements that will be performed during your training session.