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Trunk Muscle Training

Scientific studies are essential to our daily functioning and our ability to understand nature and ourselves especially when scientists build a body of research that supports a premise. The basic complexion of studies is that they often disagree, sample sizes may not reflect larger populations, they may have a bias, are to short of duration and have many other limitations that do not adequately reflect what actually is occurring and more.

After multiple individual studies are published in journals it is common for a systematic review of the literature and a meta-analysis. A meta-analysis is a statistical approach to combine the results from the majority of publications in an effort to increase their overall power by improving estimates of the effect and resolve uncertainty when reports disagree.


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The Adjustable Pendulum Core Developer on the Pendulum Power Rack

Recently in Noveber of 2015 in Sports Medicine the article “The Role of Trunk Muscle Strength for Physical Fitness and Athletic Performance in Trained Individuals: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” was published.

Over numerous years the muscles of the ‘core’ have been studied extensively by exercise physiologists. The core muscles include the abdominal muscles, back muscles and the muscles around the pelvis.  The transversus abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae, longissimus thoracis and the diaphragm are all considered part of this trunk muscle region.

The above postural muscles and stabilizers are considered a ‘force transfer center’ rather than prime movers.  Imbalances or deficiencies in the groups result in increased fatigue, decreased endurance, lower potential strength and possibly injury. 


The published results of the meta-analysis in Sports Medicine concluded, “Our findings indicate that TMS (trunk muscle strength) plays only a minor role for physical fitness and athletic performance in trained individuals.”

Does this mean that the trunk musculature is not an important area to train?  If you are a highly competitive athlete and can make “limited gains” by adding core movements to your program this ‘minor role’ can be of significant importance in your success.


Training the core by providing a greater stress or load on the body than it is normally accustomed to is following the ‘overload principle’ and will cause a training adaptation. Knowing that regular exercise strengthens the core each core specific exercise you add to your routine, if chosen wisely and is progressive, will be productive. Using an exercise like the Pendulum Core Developer may be exactly what an athlete needs to Get Stronger and gain a competitive advantage.



Getting Strong

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