Make Time for More Core!

A strong core is so much more than just having a six pack or a flat belly!  Your core is a complex series of muscles, which include your abdominals, but has three dimensional depth and functional movement in all three planes of motion.  These muscles can act as isometric or dynamic stabilizers of movement, they can transfer force from one extremity to another and they can also initiate movement!  These amazingly complex muscles run deep within our torso and they help protect our spine, improve our posture, and help us function on a day to day basis.  Research has shown that athletes with higher core stability have a lower risk of injury!  As someone who loves to be active with running, teaching fitness classes, and mom duties…I emphasize to my clientele the importance of core work and practice it myself!

My top three core exercises are push ups, planks, and side planks.  As a trainer, I can gather a lot of information of what my clients need to work on just by evaluating their form on these three movements.

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Once you master a master a basic side plank, try making it more challenging by working from the palm instead of the forearm and extending/abducting the top leg! Focus on the breath work and drawing in the abdominal wall.
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A basic push up requires a fair amount of core strength. You want to avoid letting the low back sway or rise up too high into a pike position. Nice neutral alignment is optimal while keeping the movement slow and controlled!
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For more of a challenge, try this!
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IMG_8387 Once you master the full body push up, you can make it more challenging by lifting up one leg (hip extension) away from the floor. Again, focus on a smooth and controlled movement and breath work.

When working your core with any type of move, remember to breathe!  Your diaphragm is also part of your deep core muscles!  Also, it will help you slow the movement down and become more mindful while practicing the movement.  Have fun making time for your core workout!

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