It's All About the Core

January 4, 2008 10:44:39 AM PST
It's All About the Core is an exercise program for youngsters from 6 to 12 years old. With a maximum of six children per class, the program promotes a life-long love of exercise."If you Introduce fitness and exercise at an early age, it becomes a part of your life and then through adulthood it is not considered a chore," says Robin Page, a pediatric physical therapist for the last 12 years.

Robin, who teaches the Core classes, explains that the core is the grounding center of the body from your shoulders to your trunk area. Without good core strength it would be difficult to perform everyday activities that kids do almost automatically like running, jumping and hopping.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine 50 percent of pre-adolescent sports injuries could be prevented, in large part, by enrolling kids in a youth strength-conditioning program such as It's All About the Core. Strengthening your core will help make the "right" muscles stronger so kids can build confidence and get better at physical activity.

Strengthening of the core muscle groups of the body will provide the following health benefits:

Increase balance
Increase running speed and rhythm
Better overall health and Wellness
Greater efficiency of movement
Improved body control
Reduced risk of injury
Improved stability
Improved postural alignment
Build better body awareness
Improved psychosocial well being
Increase energy for daily activities
Develop an appreciation of fitness

Strengthening the core is not just for children who are naturally athletic or inclined to participate in sports. It's an all inclusive program designed to get kids off the couch, watching TV and playing video games. The goal is to engage them in fun activities and games that wouldn't even be considered exercise. The program helps to promote physical activity in an age when childhood obesity has become an epidemic in the U.S. Overweight children say they experience social discrimination and often have poor self-esteem and depression, Robin points out

Core muscle activities are skills for life. Strengthening the core provides the building blocks to a healthy, strong and happy life that hopefully continues to include some fitness regimen into adulthood.

Examples of core activities

Trunk Rotation: take a ball and pass it back and forth rotating the trunk while passing. This will help to make the muscles in the trunk area stronger.

Start/Stop Activities: run and stop, run and stop. You need these muscles strong so that in every day life your muscles will stop and start in any situation and there's no sluggishness involved.

Each 50 to 60 minute class involves:
· 10-15 minutes of warm up
· 30-40 minutes of activities working on balance, rotation, running and coordination skills.
· 10 minutes cool down/ game

For more information and class schedules, visit