The CoreStick is the latest and most innovative product to hit the fitness industry and something that I have been fortunate enough to get hold of recently despite it not being available on a wide scale basis just yet.
I was lucky enough to have the creator of the CoreStick train myself and colleagues at the recent Faster convention in Southampton and I think the majority of us there were taken aback by the quality of workout you can actually achieve by just using an actual stick, let alone the Core Stick!
The CoreStick is a piece of equipment that specifically targets the core muscles of the body and the equipment consists of two handles that attach to a weighted American football-shaped centre. Its unique design causes the core muscles to react and be strengthened in all potential movements and challenges the body in every plane of movement. It isolates the core muscles safely and effectively during integrated, efficient movements and is great for gaining auditory feedback which is created by the shift in weight when driving an exercise. This is highly advantageous and provides a third aspect of feedback for a trainer, client or individual to go with the visual and kinaesthetic feedback systems we already use in the form of mirrors and how the exercise feels. Having this shift or “rattle” in the stick (watch the video below to hear the CoreStick in action) lets me as a trainer know if a repetition is being used to its full potential as any exercise should have a chhhh chhhh like noise which is rhythmical and consistent. Towards the end of a set or when a client is getting tired this rattle tends to fade or become non existent which is a sign of fatigue in the individual.
I have found that I have been able to use the CoreStick for a number of training styles/goals including cardiovascular-based workouts, interval training and super sets. Furthermore, I have been able to use it with a number of clients to help restore postural and functional deficiencies particularly in the thoracic spine (upper back).
Much to my surprise, I have found the CoreStick to be a very versatile piece of kit – previously, as a mobile personal trainer I carried around various pieces of equipment such as TRX, medicine balls, ladders etc. and for any PT that runs a mobile training business I would highly recommend getting your hands on a CoreStick if you can. They are light and range from 2kg up to around 10kg or maybe more which I may not have come across. They are easy to carry, and light and can be pulled apart so they can fit in your kit bag no problem.
Over recent weeks I have had great results using the CoreStick to free up limitations in the thoracic spine, lumbar spine, hips and even feet depending on which motions you drive. Plus my clients seem to love using it too, which is always a bonus! The versatility of the tool is very apparent as I have seen colleagues to use the kit to improve golf swings, changes in direction in sport, jumping, muscular endurance, and to work joints and muscles in more specific ways. Bear in mind different weights will benefit and compliment different goals so it makes sense to use something light such as a 2kg when trying to improve a golf swing rather than a 10kg as momentum and gravity will be much more difficult to fight against. Ranges of motion can be improved quite significantly if this kit is used properly and most movement patterns will hit most if not all of the following muscles and many more that I have missed out:
- Erector spinae (lower back)
- Psoas major (deep core)
- Gluteus maximus (backside)
- Pectoralis major and minor (chest)
- Latissiums dorsi (back)
- Internal obliques (abs)
- External obliques (abs)
- Trapezius (upper back)
- Transversus abdominis (abs)
- Rhomboids (upper back)
- Iliacus (deep core)
- Rectus abdominis (core)
Below is a link to a video of myself playing around with a core stick. Here I was ‘training with no particular goal in mind but this matrix of exercises would be great for driving motion in the upper spine, hips and various motions at the feet.
This is quite an aggressive set of exercises so wouldn’t recommend it if you have any serious injuries or restrictions or are fairly novice when it comes to exercise. However, if you consider yourself healthy and mobile and fancy a challenge grab yourself a CoreStick and give it a go.
To summarise, my experience with the CoreStick is still fairly new but I am very excited by the potential prospects that training more of my clients with this kit will bring, and I would highly recommend this piece of equipment to all personal trainers, or any fitness enthusiasts for that matter!