Jackie Wright " Innovative Core Exercises
April 30, 2009
First in a two-part series
The basics of the core were covered in this column in both an article titled “Core Basics” and a three-part series titled “Ten Great Ways to Achieve a Stable Core.” However, to set the stage for this two-part series featuring five innovative core exercises, let’s briefly review what muscles are included within the core.
The inner unit core muscles include, but are not limited to, the multifidus, transverses abdominis (TVA), and the pelvic floor muscles (think spinal stability).
The outer core unit muscles include, but are not limited to, the rectus abdominis; external/internal obliques and the erector spinae (think torso movement).
Always consult your physician prior to beginning any exercise program.
Side Bridge/Hip Lift/BOSU – (works the inner/outer core unit muscles)
– Begin seated on the floor lying on your right side, right hip on the floor, with both feet stacked on top of a BOSU Balance Trainer, right elbow directly under the right shoulder with the arm flexed 90 degrees, right palm resting on the floor, and the body is one straight line from the top of the head to the feet.
– Shoulders rotated back/down, rib cage lifted, navel pulled toward the spine and the knees relaxed, place the left hand on the floor in front of the torso.
– Pressing the majority of your body weight into the feet/legs on top of the BOSU, engage the core muscles located on the right, lateral side of the torso (bottom side of torso), lifting the hips off of the floor creating a side bridge.
– Keep the eyes fixed forward and avoid letting the head hang downward.
– Then, lift the hips toward the ceiling, and lower the hips toward the floor without touching the floor.
– Perform one set of 8-12 repetitions, slow two counts up/down, on both sides, two to three times per week.
– This exercise can be performed without the BOSU with the feet on the floor for a less intense version.
– Once you have mastered the exercise, to increase intensity, the top hand can be placed along the top hip/leg. – When the exercise is completed, place the top hand on the floor, and slowly lower the body toward the floor.
Kneeling Roll Out with Stability Ball ” (works the inner/outer core unit muscles)
– Begin kneeling on the floor with a 65cm stability ball in front of you on the floor.
– Place your forearms and the “blade” of both hands (thumbs face the ceiling) on top of the ball, shoulders rotated back/down, rib cage lifted and the navel pulled in deeply toward the spine.
-The arms are flexed 90 degrees at the elbow joint.
– Roll out while you strongly push the torso weight into the ball, controlling the movement, until the spine is lengthened, never hyperextended, and the arms are extended at the elbow joint.
– Using your abdominal/core muscles, pull the torso back to the beginning kneeling position, without sitting back onto the heels.
– As you roll back in, focus upon compressing the abdomen driving the rib cage toward the hip bones.
– Perform one set of 8-12 repetitions, slow two counts out/in, two to three times per week.
Next week, we will highlight three more innovative core exercises.
” Jackie Wright is the Owner/Manager of Never Summer Fitness LLC in Grand Lake, Colorado. She can be reached at her e-mail address: NSFGL@comcast.net, her Web site: http://www.neversummerfitness.com. and her blog at http://www.skyhidailynews.com
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