The interest of sheathing

Published on : 18/11/2020 – 15:53Modified : 18/11/2020 – 15:55

Each week, Dr Jean-Marc Sène, sports doctor and doctor for the national judo team, presents his sports column in Priorité Santé. This week, he talks to us about sheathing.

Sheathing, what is it?

This is a trend that is making a comeback in almost all sports disciplines—: sheathing or core stability, in other words the stability of the trunk.

It is in fact to strengthen the superficial and deep muscles of the trunk through specific exercises. These muscles make it possible to firmly connect the bust and the abdomen.

Sheathing strengthens our deep muscles—: These tiny, short muscles that we cannot see are stuck to the skeleton, for example between two vertebrae at the level of the spine. They have a support function because they literally carry our body. We have some on all the members, but it is essentially those around the column that will allow the holding.

These deep postural muscles are increasingly neglected because of our lifestyles (sedentary lifestyle, motorized locomotion, screen work, teleworking, etc.). Finally, the sheathing is a bit the equivalent of the stand up straight spoken by our grandparents—!

Why does it feel good?

The interest is first of all mechanical—: when the deep muscles are strengthened, the spine holds itself better, which prevents imbalances affecting the rest of the body, in particular the intervertebral discs or the joints. The sheathing will thus reduce the risk of back pain, hernias or osteoarthritis. Regarding the abdominals, the transverse muscle as well as the entire abdomino-lumbar belt are also deep muscles.

The cladding also improves athletic performance by ensuring the transfer of impulse forces between the upper and lower body. Moreover, there is no point in having a developed musculature of the upper and lower body if the central part is not able to create this “bridge” of strength.

With a muscular trunk, you will be able to perform all your movements with more force, whether you are a man or a woman, whether it is daily or in your sport.

Last benefit and not the least—: the deep muscles are made up of slow fibers, burning more fat than the so-called peripheral muscles which use them mainly sugar. The sheathing therefore also has a metabolic effect because it allows the direct elimination of fat—!

How to make a good sheathing?

You have to start by evaluating your level of cladding and tone—!

It is possible to assess your tone with this simple test—: Position yourself in pump or plank, resting on the forearms and not on the hands. Maintain good body alignment and don’t dig your back. Contract your abs to lock the core. Then hold this position for as long as possible. The test stops when your hips sag or the knees touch the floor.

✓ Less than 30 seconds -: weak sheathing

✓ Between 30 seconds and 1 minute -: medium sheathing

✓ Between 1 and 2 minutes -: good sheathing

✓ — More than 2 minutes—: excellent sheathing

To figure out how long you should stick to at the start, you can also use this calculation as a basis — do a core exercise of your choice and hold on as long as possible. Then take the time obtained and divide it by two. It is this number that you will be able to do in sets of 5 or even 10 for the most motivated. So, if your “test board” lasts 40 seconds, do sets of 5 core exercises of 20 seconds.

Lie on the floor, face down, resting on the forearms, legs outstretched on the toes and slightly lift your body, stomach well tucked in. You can also do the plank by leaning on your knees, legs still straight, but with your feet raised. Hold, release then start again.

The goal?
Work the entire abdominal strap. To vary your “challenge”, you can do the plank successively on each side, resting on one forearm, in order to work more particularly on the obliques, or on the back, while maintaining yourself on the elbows to cover this times the posterior.

Banana or Superman to tighten your lower back

1. Lie on your stomach, extend your arms behind your head and simultaneously lift your upper and lower body so that you are in a “banana” position. Be sure to keep your head glued to your chest. Hold for a few seconds, release then start again.

2. Lie on your stomach, stretch your arms forward. Simultaneously take off your outstretched legs and your torso by extending your arms, in a position similar to that of Superman. Hold, release then start again.

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