July 20, 2019

Strengthen your Abs: Crunch…Plus!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Crunch-hold with both legs up!

 

To target your core try this crunch exercise:

Lie on your back on the floor. Lift both legs up, with your knees over your hips and your lower legs parallel to the floor. Next, lift your shoulder blades up off the floor to establish your starting position. For more of a challenge, extend both arms straight off the floor along the side of your body. Hold this position for 2 deep breaths or 10 seconds, then release. Do 3-5 reps.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise. This exercise is not for those with back injury concerns.

 

At-Home Core Strength by Chanda Fetter

3 Effective Ways to Strengthen Your Core  Muscles At Home

We can’t always make time for the gym, sometimes we have to rely on the space and items we have around our home to get those important exercises done.  The following three exercises will help strengthen your core, tighten your waistline, reduce back pain and give you a boost of energy!

Sitting V with Trunk Rotation – Grab a bag of potatoes or fruit, something that might equate to 8-10 lbs.  Sit on the ground and wedge your feet under the couch to secure them in place.  Sit up tall and hinge back from the hips to engage your abdominals.  Be sure you don’t hinge back too far as you don’t want to over recruit your hip flexor muscles, nor do you want to load your lower back.  Stay at a safe angle that allows maximum recruitment of your abdominal wall.  Take your weight and rotate side to side making sure to stay evenly planted on your tail.  While you are performing this exercise be sure to tighten your abs and breathe deep.  Know that this exercise can be performed with just your body weight as well for less intensity by simply crossing your arms on your chest.   Perform until you find fatigue in your abdominals then rest for a few breaths and repeat 3x.

Back Extensions – Take a few pillows and place them on the floor.  Lie on your stomach so the pillows rest under your hips.  Wedge your feet under the couch and place your hands behind your head.  Lengthen out of your spine and inhale, then exhale and lift your chest off the ground to find a position just beyond neutral.  You’ll want to be sure you pull the shoulder blades down your back so you’re not taking weight into your neck and shoulders.  Keep your gluteal muscles relaxed and feel the muscles along the sides of your spine tighten and you extend your back.  Perform 3 sets of 8-12 reps with a 3 second hold at the top.

Plank with Rotation Knee Tucks – Take an ordinary kitchen towel or pillowcase and place it under your feet.  Assume a plank position up on your hands, tighten your abdominals and make sure to keep your legs zipped together as one.   Take a deep breath in and as you exhale pull your knees across your body and into your right elbow then your left.  Do this a total of 8-10x keeping a nice pace.  Notice that your hips will lift slightly as you pull the knees across your body.  This is an advanced exercise so know that holding a static plank is a great alternative.  Planks can be done on your hands, your forearms, on your toes or on your knees.

By Chanda Fetter
IM=X Pilates, Owner and Master Trainer. Contact Chanda via chanda@imxsb.net, www.imxsb.net or 805-687-4692.