Jackie Wright " Two excellent core exercises
February 29, 2008
Try including the two excellent core exercises detailed below into your abdominal and core muscle training regimen. If regularly and properly executed, both should help to provide you with a strong, stable and conditioned abdominal/core region.
Always perform a thorough warm up prior to beginning any form of exercise. Make certain to perform these exercises at the end of your workouts to prevent fatigue of the stabilizer muscles.
Inner Core Unit Exercise No. 2 (No. 1 was in last week’s column):
Horse stance (asymmetry): Perform this exercise first, then when mastered, add the Reverse Curl exercise.
– Kneeling on the floor, place your hands directly under the shoulders with the fingers facing forward.
– The knees should be approximately shoulder distance apart, your lumbar spine in neutral (i.e. maintaining the natural curve in your lower spine), your inner thighs parallel to one another and your head and neck in neutral.
– Keep the eyes directed toward the floor but do not permit the head to drop from the neck.
– Draw your navel toward your spine and maintain this contraction throughout each repetition but continue breathing rhythmically.
– Engage your gluteals by pulling your buttocks together maintaining this contraction throughout each repetition.
– Extend the right arm to shoulder height with the thumb of that hand pointing toward the ceiling reaching beyond your head. Feel the transfer of body weight onto the left arm. Then, sustaining your balance, extend your left leg behind the body lifting it to hip height only and hold for approximately 10 seconds.
– Lower the right arm and left leg, then repeat with the left arm and right leg.
-Perform 10 repetitions. Once you have mastered 10 repetitions, perform 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions, four to six times per week.
Inner and Outer Core Unit Exercise No. 1:
– Lie on the floor facing the ceiling with your legs flexed 90 degrees at the hip and knee joints.
– The knees should be facing the ceiling and aligned directly over the hip joint with the lower legs parallel to the floor (visualize a cup of hot tea sitting on the shins ” don’t spill it.).
– Place your fingertips behind your ears without interlacing the fingers, resting your head into the fingertips with the shoulders off of the floor. This is your beginning position.
– Inhale as you pull your navel toward the spine engaging your inner core muscles maintaining this contraction throughout the exercise. Exhale, and attempt to lift your hips approximately one inch off of the floor toward the ceiling, then return to the beginning position. Your eyes are looking approximately where the ceiling meets the wall, allowing your head, neck, chest and shoulders to naturally curl toward the thighs.
– However, the thighs do not travel toward the chest. Remember, the hips/knees are lifting directly toward the ceiling.
– Two slow counts upward and two slow counts back toward the floor. Repeat 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions with a 30-60 second break between sets, four to six times per week.
– Avoid any momentum such as popping the hips toward the ceiling or rocking your hips/knees toward your chest.
Next week’s column will feature one of the most functional and practical exercises in the strength training book ” the pushup.
” Jackie Wright can be reached at her e-mail address: email@example.com
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