Core strength is an important element of all three of the disciplines in triathlon. The Blackwater Triathlon Club has an early morning core strength and conditioning session for members. Core conditioning is a lot more than just doing crunches to expose that six pack. The core is composed of multiple muscle groups including the abdominal and low back muscles, diaphragm, pelvic floor muscles, latissimus dorsi, hip flexors and the gluteal muscles. All these muscles work in concert to stabilize the spine while moving your limbs. The core is the link between the lower and upper body. The core transfers forces and power between the lower body and the upper body. For optimal performance the core needs to be solid, to avoid energy leaks within the kinetic chain. A dysfunctional core that ineffectively transfers forces will put more strain on the limb muscles and tendons, resulting in overuse injuries. Another function of the core is to stabilize the body’s centre during movements that require a high degree of balance or body control. A solid core keeps your back healthy, helps you to maintain good posture, improves your balance, enhances performance and prevents injuries. A strong core helps keep the legs high while swimming and the torso upright while running. Deidre has been putting the participants through a range of highly effective exercises with a specific focus on flexion, rotation, lateral flexion and the posterior core to address all three planes of motion. Bridges, planks, knee tucks, rollouts and leg raises are just some of the exercises the participants have been doing in order to provide sport-specific core conditioning. It’s hard work but once again the members attending the sessions are seeing the benefits.