Disclaimer: Please be aware that information in this article is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding an injury or medical condition.
Written by: Melanie Talastas-Soriano BA-Kin, CAT(C), ISSA-CPT
Athletic Therapist, Personal Trainer
We know that core strength is as important as pumping our bicep and tricep muscles
but often, we may skip a core workout because it is difficult or just not saving time to
actually do them.
Core is not the six-pack abs we see on social media, rather it is something you mostly
use in a combination of other muscles to perform walking, pushing, pulling and lifting.
Basically, you need your core to do daily activities at work, at home and in the gym.
Reasons to have a strong core:
• Maintain good posture
• Avoid lower back pain
• Prevent injuries
• Increase endurance during long days of work
• Maintain healthy internal organs
• Maintain proper internal muscles and organ functions
Here are four exercises you can do at home with minimal equipment. All you need is a
mat, floor space and your shoes.
Exercise #1 Plank: Engage torso and shoulder girdle with a neutral spine, contracting your glutes, quads to lift onto a plank. Plank on elbow or plank on your hand and hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat 5 times. Rest for 15 seconds. Complete 3 sets of 5 repetitions. Plank on hand or plank on forearm/elbow.
Exercise #2 Side plank twists: Position yourself on your side with your forearm on the floor. With feet stacked together, engage your core and lift up to a nice straight line from your ankle, knees, hip and shoulder in a nice alignment. With the upper arm, twist your upper body and scoop inwards then lifting back up so that your arm is perpendicular to the floor. Repeat this exercise 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each side. You should feel the work on the obliques and your bottom shoulder.
Exercise #3 Scissors: Engaging the core (tighten the transverse abdominus), lying on your back with one leg straight up and one straight slightly off the floor, hold that position for 4 seconds, then switch the legs like scissors. Complete this exercise 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
Exercise #4 Banana Boat to Superman: This exercise will target the front and back of the body. Lying flat with arms up and legs straight, lift the arms and legs slightly off the floor. You should feel the abs contracting then roll over with minimal adjustments with arms and legs off the floor onto your belly. Tuck your chin as if you’re flying like Superman. Hold each position for 4 seconds, then roll over and hold for 4 seconds and complete 12 rolls in total for 3 rounds. Be sure to roll over equally (roll over to the right then back to center then, roll over to the left then back to center).
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