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What's Core Got to Do with It?

I’ve had a lot of people recently reaching out and asking about strengthening their core. But what are core exercises anyway?

Many people associate core work with their tummy. That’s certainly part of it. For truly strong core support, core exercises will work the muscles in your lower back, pelvis, abdomen, and hips. This results in better stability and balance, and of course will give you that flat, toned belly you want.

Here are 6 moves you can do right now for a flatter and toned tummy:

1: Spinal Balance

Also sometimes referred to as Bird Dog. Start on all fours in a tabletop position with shoulders over wrists and hips over knees. Extend the right arm forward and lift the left leg back. Don’t allow the low back to excessively arch, hug the navel to the spine. Hold a few breaths, then repeat on the other side by extending the left arm forward and the right leg lifting.

2: Boat Pose

The love it or hate pose. Start this one seated with your legs extended out in front of you. Sit up tall to lengthen your spine then slowly lean back while bending your knees. Keep leaning back until you're able to lift your feet off the floor. Flex your feet to keep your legs activated. If needed, hold onto your bent knees with your hands behind your thighs to maintain the lengthening in your spine. This is important. Stay long in the spine.

3: Side Plank

This is a static hold to build endurance strength in your core body. It is a sideways position that targets your obliques. Start the posture in a high push-up or plank position with shoulders over wrists. While keeping your right hand on the floor, swing your entire body sideways facing the left wall. Keep your legs very straight; to do so, flex your feet. As you're able, stack one leg on top of the other. If you need more stability, place one foot in front of the other. For further stability in this posture, place your right knee on the ground directly under your hip.

Extend your left arm into the air, slightly lift your left hip toward the ceiling, and breathe deeply. Hold the posture for 5 to 10 breaths. Feel free to rest and perform the posture on the same side two more times. When complete, practice the pose on the other side.

4: Forearm Plank

Seems simple but this is a powerful one. Another static pose, this one you start by lying flat on the floor, then lift yourself off the ground with your forearms. Then lift your legs by pushing up from your toes until your body is as straight as you can get it. Next, simply hold that position for 15 to 30 seconds. Rest. Then repeat 2 more times.

5: Marching Heel Taps

Lie on your back with your hands under your bum. Bend your knees and feet as though you have them propped up on a table. Now, slowly lower one foot while it’s bent forward until the heel just touches the ground. Repeat with the other foot. When lifting your foot back up, tighten your abdominal muscles. Repeat 3 sets of 10 reps.

6: Core Toning Scissors

Lie on your back on the floor and place your hands behind your head. Raise your shoulders and head slightly from the ground while supporting your head with your hands. Now, raise your legs off the ground. Then start to make scissor-like motions with your legs. Keep your feet pointed toward the sky while you make this motion and focus on using your abdominal muscles to move your legs. Repeat 10 times for each leg in 3 sets.

Using these 6 exercises, you can set a routine for yourself for the next 30 days. Doing the same exercise over and over can be boring, and doesn’t work as many muscles, so I recommend changing it up and trying as many different options as possible. Building a stronger core can not only get you that flat tummy you’re looking for, but it also helps you build injury resistance. It can help reduce the risk of knee injuries and low back pain, as you are able to put less stress on the knees and low back. It can improve your posture and your body awareness.

If you want to transform your core, your weight, and your life, send me a message now. We can have a quick chat about your goals and come up with a plan to get you where you want to be as quickly as possible.

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