Some of you commented on the time that I held plank for yesterday morning. First off, thanks... you guys make me blush =). Second because I love strength training as much as I love running I thought we could talk this morning about core strength.
What is your "core"?
Surprisingly, not just that six pack that your after! It includes 12 muscles in your abdomen.
Plus your mid and lower back. Some people include glutes and upper quad muscles as well.
Importance of a strong core
Having strong core muscles can help in your daily life. They will improve posture and balance which can help with anything from running to tying your shoes. Having strong back muscles will also help to reduce and prevent low back pain which many people suffer from.
How to Work it
There are A TON of great core exercises you can do, pilates and yoga being at the top of my list. 45 minutes to and hour of either=45 minutes to an hour of core work.
Another great thing for core is to use props.
Resistance bands are an awesome added challenge.
My favorite way:
Lie on your back with your legs straight out. Wrap the band around the bottom of both feet and hold one end in each hand, make sure it's pulled tight! Raise your legs slowly engaging your lower abs, when you can no longer feel your abs engaged lower slowly leaving an inch between your heels and the ground.
Find more great resistance band workouts here!
Medicine balls are diverse and add a weight element to your work.
My favorite way:
Start with your feet a little more than shoulder width apart. Come to a squat position with your back against a wall. Hold the medicine ball with both hands in front of your chest. Twist at a good tempo from side to side touching the wall with the med ball on each side.
Find more great med ball workouts here!
This is my secret. The bosu dome. I LOVE this thing. You can use it for core work specifically but incorporating it in any way to your workout will strengthen you core because it will require you to balance. I use it for core, squats, push ups, even cardio. Jogging up and down on it or using this instead of the floor for mountain climbers is killer!
For instance, this morning I did on the dome
Crunches x 20
Single leg Stretch x 15 each side
Full sit up x 15
Twisting crunches x20 each side
Flip dome over
Push ups x15
Slow mountain climber x12
Push ups x12
slow mountain climber x 8
push ups x 8
Hold high plank with hands on dome until fail
This is just one example, I change it up all of the time depending on how I feel!
Also this morning I had a protein bar, ran 4 miles in 38 minutes, walked for 5 minutes and did some weights for about 20 minutes (and then the core work)
Easy delicious breakfast
Whole grain toasted waffles, one cream cheese and fruit spread on PB and fruit spread and very ripe mango slices (of course I eat the skin!)
And as part of Project New Nutrition, PerMa sent me this!
I started it last night... it is amazing. If you are struggling with and ED at all you must pick up this book, I'll be reviewing it and sharing tips as I go!
Tell me about your core workouts!