Conditioning: Core Strength

The human frame is both versatile and durable. We can thrive in conditions as disparate as tropical rain forest, deserts, the Arctic, or the Altiplano of South America (the mountain pika can die from short exposures to temperatures slightly above 26°C). We heal rapidly from injuries that would kill other animals (humans routinely recover from broken bones with little more than a slight reduction in activity). Our innate and adaptive immune systems assist us in resisting or overcoming infections (shallow wounds can lead to a deadly infection for many reptiles).

Compared to the human body as a whole, our internal organs are quite fragile (save our livers, to some extent): a damaged organ stays damaged. Their relative sensitivity has been compensated for by the presence of bone: ribs grant some protection to our lungs, heart, liver and kidneys; vertebrae partially shield the nerves that allow our arms and legs to move; skull protects our brain. Unfortunately our digestive system has been left out of our protective cages, and a blow to it can cause calamity (perhaps why a nasty and disappointing surprise can be referred to as a gut punch).

This is why students of any combative art are regularly encouraged to train their core strength. Abdominal muscles must be like armour to ward off the damage that would otherwise be inflicted to the soft tissues of our torso.

Here are some links to ideas for different exercises you may want to consider working into a conditioning routine.

(All links lead to external resources that are not controlled by Maelstrom. Reproduced under Fair Use and with credit.)

“Best CORE Exercises for MMA, Martial Arts, and Combat Fighters” –

“The 21 Best Bodyweight Exercises for a Strong Core” –


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