So, I’ve decided that once a month, I’m going to post some articles on my blog to give you someone else to read. I’ve decided this because sometimes I just cannot think of what to write, or I need time to research my next post. So, without further chatter, here are some great exercises for core. General tips:
- For beginners seeking to rebuild their core strength, keep the feet on the floor. Work on the upper body first. Then add the legs, one leg at a time, if necessary.
- Always keep that belly scooped in to the spine. Never let the lower back arch off the floor.
- The easiest way to breathe is inhaling on the preparation or hold, and exhaling on the exertion. Do not hold your breath.
- Neutral spine is vital for all core workouts. Keep the pelvis neutral (neither tilting forward or back–known as ‘sticking your bottom out’), pull the abs in as far as you can (if you cannot get your hand beneath your lower back easily, you’re doing a great job), pull the shoulder blades down as though you are tucking them into your back pockets and push the shoulders onto the floor, and tuck the chin in just slightly (as though you were squeezing a tangerine between chin and chest) to keep the neck long.
- Always be mindful of your lower back. If it bothers you while twisting, keep the feet on the floor. If it arches while doing core exercises with extended legs, either bend the knees (modification, but keep working from the hips) or do not go as far out on a lever with the legs.
- If you experience sharp or shocking pain, stop the exercise immediately. If the pain persists, seek a doctor.
American Council on Exercise Core Workout Program
ACE Exercises for Abdominals (rated beginner through advanced; view details for guidelines on how to do exercises–great step-by-step photos)
ACE Exercises for Back (when you do abs, always add a few upper and lower back exercises to balance the body, maintain and build strength)
ACE Exercises for Glutes/Hips/Thighs (contrary to popular belief, the glutes, hips and thighs connect and assist the strengthening of the core, which is why Pilates has prone and side leg exercises integrated into the workout; add a few to maximize hip flexor, iliopsoas, glute, quad and hamstring range of motion–flexibility–and build strength; watch your knees when squatting and lunging: knees over toes!)
A featured review on the P90X
ACE P90X Study