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5 Moves to Build Core Strength

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white woman with long brown wavy hair sits on the ground in a modified v up position

Hollow Holds ? Lie down with your back on the floor. Tighten your whole core and hold it. It?s time to think outside the box. But if you?re outside of acute care, there are still ways to build core strength that won?t aggravate your injuries. Not good. For the Bird Dogs, Dead Bugs, and Lunge to Balance: Start with 3 sets of 8 to 10 per side. Pin this Core Strength Workout for later! Questions about core strength? Leave them in the comments section below. Finally, avoiding core work because of injury past and present isn?t necessarily going to fix your problems and result in less pain. Start with a solid standing posture: Feet under hips. Switch legs. First, the tendency is to yank on your head and strain your neck in these movements. I also crunch my ribs down which is something I don?t often see plankers doing. Oh, and you?ll never have to do a single crunch. Building a strong trunk ? one that?s capable of helping you maintain good sitting and standing posture ? requires that you go deeper and start thinking of your back and butt, too. 5 Moves to Build Core Strength With the above in mind, I?m going to describe the five core strengtheners shown in the video above. And if you want to add fitness or sport on top of your normal routine, core strength is even more training equipment critical. The goal is to feel like one solid, rigid, concave shape and not to break the posture. . Repeat by lunging to the side and then to the back. Make it harder: Hollow Rocks Get into the hollow hold and add a gentle rock forward and backward. Hips slightly tucked under to neutral. The super convenient thing for you is that none of these moves require weights, and they can all be done at any gym or in your home. (Oh, and don?t forget to breathe!) Make it harder: Straight Arms Plank up onto straight arms. Don?t let your lower back separate from the floor! Work to actively keep your lower back and abs engaged. Tighten your abs and keep your pelvis neutral. Here?s a preview: Why Core Strength Matters First ? let?s get this out of the way up front ? having a strong core (trunk) is way more important ? and functional ? than just having a ripped six pack. Don?t make the mistake of doing core work once a month, then wondering why your back is chronically sore. Keep your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders. Keep your legs bent at a 90 degree angle, and raise them up off the floor so your knees are above your hips. (This isn?t a cat-cow from yoga!) Slowly, raise one arm and the opposite leg until both are straight. Involve your trunk muscles in as many compound movements as you can to take advantage of stability building potential, not just building rounder muscle bellies. (Don?t allow your ribs to flare out. (Note: Straight arm planks form the foundation of push-ups and pull-ups. Aim for one or two of these moves a couple times a week to start. What we typically think of as the six pack ? the rectus abdominis ? is only one muscle involved in core strength, and it?s located on the very surface. On the way back, lift your knee and bring it toward your chest so you?re standing on one leg. (Don?t allow your ribs to flare out. Make it harder: Speed Change direction faster! Put It All Together Core strength is something to work on regularly, every week. Make it harder: Straight Legs Keep your legs straight through the entire movement. (Some mild discomfort, sweating, and breathing hard is normal. Start by popping up onto your elbows, neck neutral, butt in line with the spine ? no downward dogs or saggy hips! Squeeze everything and hold. The goal is to touch the elbow and knee, then lower. And it ensures that your posture stays stable and your spine keeps its integrity as you move through ranges of motion with your bodyweight or an external load. A strong core includes your back, glutes, pelvic floor, and abdominal muscles, both deep and superficial. If you can?t maintain it while rocking, go back down to hollow holds. For the Hollow Holds and Planks: Start with 15 seconds and build up from there.) Extend your arms over your head and with your legs out in front of you, point your toes. Yes, listen to your health care practitioner and do your rehab. What Not to Do When You Want a Strong Core So now that you know why a strong core matters, let?s talk about what not to do. Or, do side planks. Find a good movement specialist who can help you get back on track. Try for 3 to 5 sets and adjust as you go. Raise your arms and legs slightly off the floor. From there, lunge forward. It makes for better core-to-extremity power transfer, like what you need when doing a clean & jerk, jumping for a layup, or swinging a kettlebell. This takes so much balance! Dead Bugs Lie down with your back on the floor.Core strength goes way beyond six pack abs and endless crunches. Everyone?s go-to moves for this is either the sit-up or its more ?modern? counterpart, the crunch. Draw your abdominals in and tuck your ribs down. Alternate sides. This modification works you balance, too! Get on your hands and knees. Make it harder: Crunch It Raise one arm and the opposite leg. In this post I?m sharing five simple ? though challenging ? core strengthening moves to build stability and balance. Bird Dog The bird dog move is so great for people with back issues and folks looking to build core strength. Return your foot to the starting position. Ribs crunched down. *As always, respect your body and don?t do anything that causes pain. ? Second, many people?s daily lives of sitting, hunching, and otherwise poor posture means that working your core strength only every so often isn?t enough. Then, carefully draw the elbow and knee into your belly.) Consult your doctor or healthcare provider before beginning an exercise program. They come in a zillion variations, but the key is this: Create a solid, rigid plank position with your abs activated and your bum squeezed. Keep the hollow shape throughout. You should look like a table from the side. Endless sit-ups and crunches won?t effectively work your back or glutes, and now you know that those are key to core strength, too. Sprinkle these exercises into your weekly fitness routine, and watch your core strength skyrocket*.) Engage your glutes, bring your pelvis to neutral, and push your lower back into the floor.) Lunge to Balance This core strength move also challenges balance?and gives you some bonus leg work, too. Planks No discussion about core strength would be complete without planks. Lower down. Raise your arms straight up into the air over your shoulders, reaching, and keeping them engaged. Slowly lower one leg down to the floor ? can be straight or bent depending on your level ? and bring it back to the starting position. Start with 15 second intervals and go up from there. (These moves are just scratching the surface of what?s possible!) There are ways to scale each move up or down, and though you want to challenge yourself, you don?t want it to be so hard that you can?t maintain good form. Draw your abdominals in and tuck your ribs down. Abs engaged

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