One of the most common errors we make in the practice of core conditioning is failing to train progressively. In order to enhance the stabilizing capacity of your core muscles, you have to bring them along step by step. Too many athletes fail to divide their core training into properly ordered stages, beginning with very basic exercises that help them to simply find the right muscles and advancing a step at a time from there.
Conditioning your core properly requires patience and a willingness to spend a fair amount of time working on exercises that may not look like they're doing much. Your core conditioning program should proceed in three phases. In the first phase, do basic isolation exercises that train the connection between your brain and the targeted muscles without any requirement to coordinate this action with other muscle actions.
Once you're able to consistently and easily activate your stabilizers, do exercises that involve core activation in coordination with other muscles movements. And in the third phase, do exercises in which core activation is incorporated into sport-specific movements similar to those involved in running, at least some of which include a balance requirement.
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