The eighth installment of our ongoing series involving angling-related fitness involves the development and strengthening of the core. The core, defined simply as the muscles in the abdominal area, the back, and the pelvis area, can and do play a large role in our angling pursuits. During casting, especially long distance competition casting, the core muscles aid not only in stability but also in the transfer of energy through thrust and rotation of the entire body.
As an adjunct, the core muscles are hugely important in one's ability to stand on the deck of a skiff for extended periods and offset the stresses caused from maintaining balance on a rocking unstable boat. And, if you like me, you find yourself on the opposite end of the boat with a push pole in hand, balance through core stability and strength becomes even more necessary.
Over the years I've done just about every core strengthening exercise, from the tried and true sit-up to bridges, planks, crunches. For the last several years though, my favorite core strengthening exercises involve the use of the kettlebell. The beauty of the kettlebell is that during many of the exercises such as the kettlebell swing, not only are you strengthening the core, trunk and legs, there is a very intense aerobic training component to the movement as well. And if you fancy yourself one of the elite, the Turkish Get Up is the movement for you.
Even if you don't own a kettlebell, many of the kettlebell movements can be done with a simple inexpensive dumbbell setup. In fact, last year I purchased a set of kettlebell handles that allow the use of standard size weight plates one would normally use with a dumbbell or barbell. The beauty of these is that they render the need for multiple expensive kettlebells in several sizes obsolete. One set of handles and a few plates gets the job done beautifully.
However, you choose to train your core, whether, through resistance training or isometric style exercises such as planks, bridges etc... the important thing is that you DO train your core. It is without a doubt one of the key anatomical components that can lead to higher performance both on and off the water.
A few videos outlining some basic core workouts, both with and without weights.
Hope you're all staying safe and healthy,