Sunday, October 25, 2009

Let’s Get to the CORE of the Matter

I know how much everyone LOVES to do core work! Ah, well.. ok.. maybe not. But, I hope you've had a chance to try out the All Important Humble CORE workout and have mastered that program.

I am really big on “doing” core work because your upper, lower and side (obliques) ab muscles, as well as, your lower back muscles, are the most important muscles in your body. Without these, our body could not stand, walk, run, climb stairs, sit,.... we’d have no balance and we would fall get the picture. Weak core and lower back muscles are 2 of the reasons we tend to lose out height as we age. We'd find it very difficult to stand up tall with our shoulders back and head held high. Our core just could not support that effort.

Your core has 2 main functions:

1. To create and sustain sufficient intra-abdominal pressure to counteract compressive forces resulting from axial loading.

2. To resist forces that move the spine out of its preferred neutral position.

What this says is any time you lift & carry that box of “stuff,” that laundry basket full of clothes, those sacks of groceries, your baby, or your pet; you are loading your spine, your pelvic area, your hips and legs. Without strong core muscles, you would be in danger of injury.

Anytime you twist the spine, as in playing tennis or golf, you move that spine out of its natural position and could set yourself up for severe back injury.

So, is keeping your core muscles strong and fat free important? You bet!

Here is another quick-n-dirty core work out. Remember to “Suck n Squeeze.” Suck in that gut and squeeze that butt, tightly. This will stabilize that lower back, plus will help strengthen the abs and butt muscles.

As with all work out programs, if you have not worked out in a long time, live a sedentary lifestyle, if you are deconditioned or have any health issues, please check with your physician before doing any exercises.

Ok, then, let’s hit it!


Rotating Side Plank

Start with stiff and tightened core muscles
Start with the side plank
Place elbow directly below shoulder.
Keep neck in neutral position by looking straight in front of you.
Transition to the traditional plank. Don’t clinch your fists. Keep neck in neutral position.
Rotate to opposite side and position yourself for the side plank

Rotate back and forth, both sides, as rapidly as possible while maintaining your balance, form and alignment. The time goal is 3 to 5 seconds per revolution.

Do 5 to 10 rotations, 3 to 4 times.

Lateral Plank Crawl

Get into military style push up position. Spread your legs out and place both hands directly under your head. Your hands should rest on top of each other. You will move sideways. Keep your butt tight and keep it DOWN. Elbows are straight and relaxed.
*right leg in, left arm out
*Left leg out, right arm in

Now do one push up and return to plank crawl position.

Do this crawl/push up routine 3 sets, 5 to 10 times. The time goal is seconds, per position.

Good luck and have fun mastering this challenging core work out!

Until Next Time.......


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