May 28, 2024

Beyond Crunches by Nicole Bryan

A strong core is essential to functioning better during our day, and even more so to functioning pain-free during our day. Our core includes many muscles that overlap and intertwine through our mid-section. Sometimes we use our core muscles to prevent rotation. For example while carrying a suitcase in one hand and nothing in the other. In this situation, we’re using our core to keep us upright and centered. Other times we use our core musculature to rotate us to one side or bend to the side, forward or backwards.  For example, we use our core when bending to pick up an item off the floor. These are the muscles that help return us to our standing upright position. To effectively improve strength our core it’s important to move at many different angles. Here are a few non-crunch exercises to strengthen core muscles. The following exercises are for intermediate exercisers without injury concerns. Consult your physician before beginning exercise.

Floor Plank. Begin in a push up position on the floor; place your hands directly below your shoulders and lift your knees up off the floor. Hold your body straight. Hold for a count of 10 seconds.

Floor Side Plank. Lie on your right side on the floor. Place your forward flat on the floor, with your elbow directly below your shoulder. Lift your body up off the floor, holding the position with your right knee and right forearm. Slowly lower your hip and stop when your hip is about two inches off the floor. Repeat lifting and lowering your body up off the floor. Do ten times. Repeat lying on your left side.

Lie on your back on the floor. Hold your arms directly over your shoulders and your knees up directly over your hips. Extend your right arm overhead and your left leg out straight toward the floor about six inches. Return to the center. Now extend your left arm and your right leg about six inches. Repeat 10 times.

Sit on a Stability Ball. Place your arms across your chest, and lift and hold your right foot up off the floor. Count to 10. Repeat by holding your left foot up off the floor; count to 10.
Lie face down on a Stability Ball. Lying face down on a Stability Ball, pull your upper body up and extend your legs so your body is lined up almost parallel to the floor. Lift your right arm and your left foot up off the floor. Return to your starting position. Now lift your left arm and your right foot up off the floor. Repeat 10 times total.

Stand on a Wobble Board. Stand with both feet in the center of a Wobble Board for timed holds of ten to thirty seconds.

Toe Touches. Stand on your right foot only. Bend forward from your hips, keeping your back lined up, and touch your left foot. Return to your starting position. Do ten times. Change leg position to stand on your left foot only; bend forward and touch your right foot. Do ten times.

Think about all the different angles in which we move during the day.  Consider adding these angles into your workout to learn how to move properly and to strengthen those muscles. Enlist the aid of a Fitness Professional to outline appropriate exercises for you.


*Disclaimer: Result may vary from person to person.


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