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how to get core strength up?

I assistant coach a year 5 team who have horrible core strength and they can not do planks and apparently 'sit ups are too easy' and they can't do push ups. What can i do to give them more core strength??

if sit ups are too easy and yet they can not do planks then they are not doing sit-ups correctly or they are lying about not being able to do planks.  with sit ups make sure their heals are close to their butt, and they do not use their hands in anyway to get up.  that includes using a swing action to pull themselves up.  their arms should be crossed over the chest and not holding onto anything to stop them using them.  

Burpees are also a good use of core muscles without the hold function of a plank.  kids are notorious at cheating at strength so make sure can watch them and know exactly what the correct form is or they could end up causing injuries without know it.  but pretty much all netball stretching exercises helps promote core strength if done correctly.  lunges should be done with chest up and no hands on any part of their body.  side foot shuffles across the court you need to be low and chest up and not having their butt sticking out, step ups onto a surface chest needs to be up.  all of these help the core to strengthen.  but you will need to know about what is correct technique and what's not in order to help them with this so either get the help from a PT type person, or do a lot of research.  but i think you will be surprised at how much core strength the kids have, but are just being lazy.

You should try an ab circuit which'll take 3-5 minutes and you choose 5 or 6 different ab exercises and do each on for 20-30 seconds. So an example would be:

Plank 20 sec. (they should be able to do that, if not bring back the time until they can)

Ankle Taps x 15 each side (they are in a sit up position arms straight by their side and then they tap their hands alternately on the same ankle, so right hand taps right ankle, etc. their upper body should be leaning to the side that they're tapping on)

Ground Touches x 10 (still on your back, raise your knees up to 45 degrees and then SLOWLY touch the ground with your heels while keeping your knees at 45 degress)

Lying Leg Raise Hold x 20 sec. (lying flat on their backs, legs straight, have them lift their legs an inch or two off of the ground. If it's hard they can put their hands under their bums which makes it easier)

Hope this helps.

HI Teagan, I take you are talking about a year 5 team aged 10/11 and find your concern about lack of core strength to be a little extreme.  In this age group playing netball should be about learning rules, positioning and very basic but correct skill development all while having fun playing in a team.  If your team is very competitive and with advanced skills (which is highly unlikely in this age group) perhaps improving them further may include exercises such as those for improving core strength but only as part of an overall fitness training plan.  Children generally have much better core strength than older age groups if getting regular exercise and not suffering from postural anomalies (these are beyond the scope of a netball coach's training to address).  I would certainly stick to the usual range of training exercises (warm up, drills, fun games, practice matches) to work on skill development & fitness together. 

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  • or access our tried and tested plans