An often-overlooked element of every workout regime is the importance of core health and strength. Our cores are responsible for good posture, overall mobility as well as keeping a good “structure”. So when you’re working through your yoga, pilates, or weight-lifting routines, you’ll experience far more technical ability and comfortability in execution when your core muscles are given a good workout regularly. Your core stabilizes your body and allows your body to move smoothly. You’ll also get to prevent falls and support your body in its entirety and if you’re moving from couch potato status, we got you.
To make this easier for you, we’ve unpacked three great exercises that help you establish core integrity, at any age.
#1 SITUPS FOR YOUR LIFE
Although often written off as causes for back pain caused by improper technique, learning how to do a good sit-up and by extension, a “crunch” is the best way to start building up your core strength and overall core technique. You can totally do this at home and all you need is a flat surface and a rolled-up towel and your workout gear. Lie on your back on the floor and inhale. Then, “lift” with your abs and exhale into an almost upright position.
That’s one repetition. Do these as many times as you can and when your muscles start twitching you’ve reached your maximum output stage. The important thing to remember here is not to work out past your exhaustion or “maximum output” stage and if you feel any pain or stinging sensation, then stop and reposition. If you’re starting from the proverbial “couch potato” phase, then take it easy because nothing will kill your buzz more than injury or back pain.
#2 SCISSOR SISTERS
As the name suggests, this exercise involves activating a few different motor functions that “force” core tension and this means it’s a great addition to your core exercise regime. You achieve the perfect scissor kick by lying on your back and squeezing your abs as if you’re dropping your belly button to the ground.
Then, raise your legs a little while keeping your back connected to the ground, now make a sideways “scissor movement” with your legs taking turns to criss-cross your legs in an “above and below” movement. One in each direction is one repetition.
#3 THE “V” MOVE
So this is the signature core move that’s going to give you way more than just core stability, in fact, some might argue that you’ll be able to serve something even more important than that….bragging rights. Technique in this exercise is really important, so take your time and do a few “dry runs” first before committing.
Lie on the floor, keeping as flat as possible, and maneuver the upper part of your body and the lower part of your body (legs) into the “V” shaped position but using your tummy muscles to action the whole movement. Start slow. Everyone likes to believe that they’re Wonder Woman after one session, but it simply doesn’t work that way. If you’re an accomplished fitness woman then you’ll know what we’re talking about, but if you’re just starting out, trust us – take it easy. You’ll get there.
Now all of this exercise needs to be tempered with where you’re at, health-wise. So it’s always a good idea to check with your GP first and if you have some aches and pains in the bones, then a Chiropractor is what you’re looking for.
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