It Starts With The Core

The core is the center of the body, where all movement begins. When you lift a heavy grocery bag, reach for a suitcase, pick up one of your children, move a bookcase or throw a ball, the core muscles should activate even before your limbs are in motion. Healthy core muscles will provide your body with the structural integrity and support to your spine for everything from walking and running to lifting to standing to sitting. Let’s review five of the more effective core exercises:

Traditional Ab Curl: Lie on your back with your hands behind the low back. Don’t flatten the back to the floor. Keep one knee bent and the other knee straight. Tighten the abs and slowly crunch up from the sternum (that T-shaped bone in the center of your lower chest, also known as the breast bone), bringing your shoulder blades off the ground. Don’t forget to breath in and out. 12-15 repetitions, 1 set.

On-Your-Back Bent-Leg Knee Raise: Lie on your back with your head and neck relaxed and your hands above your head, holding onto the sides of a bench or a piece of heavy furniture. Your feet should be flat on the floor. Use your lower abdominal muscles to raise your knees up toward your rib cage and face, the heels toward the butt, and toes to the shin. Then slowly lower your feet back to the starting position. As your feet lightly touch the floor, repeat. 12 reps, 1 set.

Plank: Start to get in a push-up position, but bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms instead of your hands. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Pull your abdominals in; imagine you’re trying to move your belly button back to your spine. Continue to brace the abdominals and put the low back in the neutral position. Hold this position for an increasing length of time up to a maximum of one minute, breathing steadily. As you build endurance, try to do at least a 60-second set. 2-3 sets, 1 minute per set.

Stability Ball Push-Ups: These are your basic push-ups, but you’re doing them with your feet on a stability ball. Keep your body straight – don’t let your hips sag or stick your butt up in the air – to max out on the exercise’s core-strengthening benefits. Do as many as you can with strict form. 1 set to failure.

Side Bridge: Lie on your nondominant side with your forearm on the floor under your shoulder. Support your weight with that forearm and the outside edge of the same side foot (your legs should be stacked one on top of the other). Your body should form a straight line from head to ankles. Contract your abs and glutes in as far as you can, and push your hips off the floor. Create a straight line from ankle to shoulder and keep your head in line with your spine. Hold this position for an increasing length of time up to a maximum of one minute, breathing steadily. Relax and lower under control. Repeat on your other side. 2-3 sets, 1 minute per set.

Don’t be afraid of core training, even if you’re a beginner. Actually, if you’re just starting an exercise regimen, core training is the place to start, because it will make everything easier. Your doctor can answer any questions you may have regarding the value of core exercises and how to properly perform these and other core exercises.

Read the full article [via To Your Health]

Like this post? Check out some more like it!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: