After yesterday’s post about doughnuts, today I thought I’d share with you my “core four” for some balance. These are the four exercises I do every morning (well, almost every morning) to strengthen my core muscles. They were recommended to me by my sports chiropractor, but as a fitness instructor I would recommend them to anyone!
Core Strength vs. Visible Abs
Admittedly, I do not have ripped, six-pack abs. The thing is, you don’t need visible abs to have a strong core; in fact, someone’s abs may be more a result of their body type than an indication of their strength. For example, I teach one student who has abdominal muscle definition, but side-by-side, I preform better in a core strength test. Let’s just say that abs are icing on the cake. Don’t you want a slice of that cake? (Maybe just a slice of cake, but we’ve got time for that after core work.)
The Core Four
- Prone plank (how-to…she’s kinda hilarious)
- Side planks, one on each side (how-to)
- Lateral steps with a resistance band (how-to…I recommend starting with 3 sets of 10 reps on each side)
Sometimes I add in variations to make it easier, like coming on one knee for side planks. I will also add in movements to make it more challenging, such as foot raises or shoulder taps in plank. On days I really need a break, I rest.
So why do I do these exercises? Having a strong core is important for athletes who want to preform well and stay-injury free, but the same can be said for everyone. A strong core will help you maintain good posture, promote life-long back health, and reduce your risk of physical injury.
Making it a routine
To make sure these exercises are part of my daily routine, I set a reminder on my phone for 8AM. I also have a daily reminder for “Abs at Eight” at 8PM. I see this as time to work in any bonus core or abdominal exercises that I want to do, like sit-ups, leg raises, bicycle crunches, bridges, squats, etc. Consistency is key.