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If You Want A Stronger Core, Follow These Essential Tips

Core Exercises with Premier Fitness CampYour “core” includes the muscles in your abs, back and pelvis and having a strong core is critical for many physical activities such as running, lifting, climbing, balancing, and more.

Every workout program ought to incorporate exercises to develop core muscle strength. You can do exercises on a carpeted floor or mat. Breathing deeply during each core-strength exercise is important. Focus on tightening your transverse abdominals, the deepest abdominal muscle that wraps around your mid section like hundreds of rubber bands. Hint: you feel it contracting when you cough.

Once or twice a week, repeat 10 repetitions of the following core-strength exercises. As your core strength improves overtime, build up to 15 repetitions. If you have back problems, osteoporosis or other health concerns, talk to your doctor before doing these core-strength exercises.

Basic abdominal crunches:

1. Lie on your back and place your feet on a wall so that your knees and hips are bent at 90-degree angles. Tighten your abdominal muscles.

2. Raise your head and shoulders off the floor. To avoid straining your neck, cross your arms on your chest rather than locking them behind your head. Hold for three deep breaths.

3. Return to the start position and repeat.

To improve the core strength of several muscles in combination, advance to a “bridge” movement:

1. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Keep your back in a neutral position, not arched and not pressed into the floor. Avoid tilting your hips. Tighten your abdominal muscles.

2. Raise your hips off the floor until your hips are aligned with your knees and shoulders. Hold for three deep breaths.

3. Return to the start position and repeat.

The quadruped is another advance movement to utilize as your core continues to strengthen:

1. Start on your hands and knees. Place your hands directly below your shoulders, and align your head and neck with your back. Tighten your abdominal muscles.

2. Raise your right arm off the floor and reach ahead. Hold for three deep breaths. Lower your right arm and repeat with your left arm.

3. Raise your right leg off the floor. Tighten your trunk muscles for balance. Hold for three deep breaths. Lower your right leg and repeat with your left leg.

4. For added challenge, raise your left arm and your right leg at the same time. Repeat with your right arm and left leg.

If you want to improve your overall health and wellness, be sure to incorporate functional core exercises into your exercise program.

 

Dejinera Lee - Premier Fitness Camp Personal TrainerDejinera Lee, Certified Personal Trainer, Premier Fitness Camp

Dejinira has been a personal trainer and group fitness instructor since 1996. She holds nationally recognized certifications from UCLA, Tufts University School of Nutrition, the Arthritis Foundation, YMCA, and the American Council on Exercise. She is also CPR and AED certified.  Dejinira’s own quest for a healthier lifestyle began in the 90’s and she soon discovered a passion to help others. Her approach to health, wellness and life is finding balance and harmony of mind, body and spirit. Her motto is, “Have fun getting fit and never underestimate your own strength!”  Some of her favorite formats to teach include Core Strength, Aqua, Gravity and Zumba.

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