Your core is defined as the part of the body between the shoulders and knees. Your core is the stabilizer for your body, hence why it is so important to not only keep itstrong but aim to make it stronger.
Having a strong core is a preventative measure to maintain a healthy posture, flexibility and mobility within your body and every move that you make. These include things such as sitting in a chair, picking something up off of the floor or simply standing still. As normal as these movements seem, you may not realize how much you rely on your core until said movements are suddenly difficult or painful.
Below are several core moves, some easy and some more difficult, to practice and build strength.
(30 sec X5) For each exercise, hold for 30 seconds or more. Practice often and hold the pose for longer each time!
Planks strengthen and tone your whole body. This move will stabilize your core, strengthen your lower back and create powerful shoulders.
Plank Pose (Phalakansana)
For hand planks, keep your abdominals tight, your arms and legs strong (but not locked) and your head and neck straight.
Tip: For forearm planks, the hold is the same but instead of using your wrist and hands, you support yourself with your elbows and forearms at a 90 degree angle. You can also do side planks on your elbows and one arm at a time.
Alternating Arm Planks
A play off of the original- alternating arm planks have all the benefits of planks while concentrating on one arm at a time and therefore sculpting a leaner stronger arm.
Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana)
This pose can be done as illustrated in either photo. Both poses strengthen your abdomen, hip flexors and spine. This pose also stimulates your organs and helps relieve stress.
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
Bridge pose builds your core and lower body. This pose energizes your whole body along with lengthening and strengthening your spine.
Wheel Pose also called Upward Bow Pose (Chakrasana)
Wheel pose is an intermediate yoga pose and also an inversion pose. This pose strengthens your back, arms and legs.
Tip: For a deeper pose, move your hands and feet closer or even try this hold on your tip toes!
Superman Pose (Viparita Shalabhasana)
Besides feeling great, the superman pose does great things for you. When you move into a superman pose, you are using and flexing the three muscles that surround your spine, also known as erector spinae.
These muscles are so important for flexion of your spine and neck, and by doing supermans, you develop strong muscles that later down the line can help prevent problems with your posture or injuries in your spine.
Correctly preform supermans by laying face down, on a towel, yoga mat or otherwise comfortable surface, outstretched.
Flex your body and stabilize your arms and legs by lifting them off of the ground and holding them perpendicular to the floor and then come back down to your starting position.
Hold for as long as you can or “pulse” by lifting and lowering several times.
For extended core and abdominal training, come to table top and then extend your right arm and left leg. Hold and then pull both your arm and leg into your chest. Repeat 20 times on this side.
Then repeat on the other side..
With persistence and consistency, these moves are almost effortless. Core workouts are essential and aid your body in so many ways. Make sure to add this workout into your weekly routine and watch for a core series with an exercise ball to come!