Five Friday Favorites: Core Exercises

 

You always hear people talking about working on your core. That it’s so important for runners and weightlifters to help prevent injury. It’s important to help with weight loss and posture. The list goes on why we should be working our core.

Well, for me it’s also important because when I was in middle school it was discovered that I have a severe case of scoliosis. The doctors at the time wanted me to have back surgery where they essentially attach a metal pole in your back so you sit up nice and tall…and can do nothing else. I grew up being active, I was a dancer and a cheerleader now turned fitness professional. Moving has always been important to my life. So naturally, I immediately shot down the idea of surgery. I got a second opinion from a doctor that wasn’t all about throwing my under the knife and I did alternative physical therapy and learned about working on my core to prevent my back from getting worse.

Here are my 5 favorites to keep me healthy and strong:

  1. The plank. I know that it’s basic but it’s a killer if you throw it at the end of a work out. You can also change it up to make it harder by doing plank to push up, shoulder taps, side planks, on a stability ball etc. It’s so versatile!!

Standard plank:img_4186-1

 

2. Dead bug. This is an exercise that I use with everyone. Especially beginners. Like the plank you can also make it hard by changing leg positioning, adding weight etc.

Start:

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Extend opposite leg and arm, then return to back to start:
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3. Bicycle crunch. I’ve always loved this one. But the key is to do it correctly. If you’re whipping through reps at a fast pace then you’re not really working on the muscles. I like to go slow and controlled. Getting stronger is about really concentrating on the movement and focusing on the muscles that should be working.

Opposite elbow to knee:

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Switch:
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4. Wood chops. This move is great for targeting the obliques and are good for sports specific athletes. While I don’t play baseball or racket sports I still love adding these in!

Start:
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Swing across, then return to start:

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5. TRX Jack knife. This one is challenging and I love a good challenge. It might be a move that you have to work up to but it’s always good to have a goal no matter how small!!!

Start:

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Crunch in:
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Or challenge yourself and pike in!

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